Journalist talks changing dynamics in media after President Trump’s first 100 days

Jeff Ballou spoke about press freedom and the changing dynamics in the media after 100 days in Trump’s presidency.

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Spring Maryland Home and Garden Show attracts visitors and exhibitors

By Bailey Hendricks

385 words

The Maryland Home and Garden Show kicked off its spring show on March 4 by attracting a crowd of visitors and exhibitors.

In addition to the home and garden part of the show – where visitors could purchase anything from a power wash service for their house, to a new Jacuzzi, to a number of plants –  the event at the Maryland State Fairgrounds also held a craft show located in the Exhibition Hall of the fairgrounds.

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Rupi Kaur is an inspiration // Milk and Honey Review

Milk and Honey was the best poetry book I have ever read.

As an amateur poet myself, seeing Rupi Kaur, a young woman only 5 years older than me write a book that was able to connect with, and touch the hearts of so many people is truly inspiring.

Reading poetry helps me find inspiration in my own writings, and also connect with the content the author is trying to convey.

I have never enjoyed reading a poet’s pieces as much as I enjoyed reading Rupi Kaur’s. The rhythm she gives her poems fits perfectly with the emotion she tries to show in the corresponding poems. This is shown evident in her spoken word poetry performances. The rhythm given to the words she speaks is almost like a mesmerizing song. But these poems are different than most I read. I am actually able to feel so many emotions reading the different chapters in her book, “Milk and Honey.” Her poems allowed me to connect with them on a deep, emotional level, and I found myself not able to put down the book! I just keep reading and reading through.

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“The Cove:” A Critique

After spending years building up the dolphin entertainment industry, Ric O’Barry builds a team to create a documentary about the dolphin slaughter that occurs each year in Taiji, Japan. “The Cove” uses passion, personal anecdotes, and powerful imagery to lure in the audience in this suspenseful film to make them activists. O’Barry and team created a highly successful film with the purpose to bring awareness of the dolphin slaughters, and put a stop to them.

Ric O’Barry has had a strong passion and connection to dolphins ever since he was young. O’Barry was on the television series, “Flipper,” where he and his dolphin, Cathy, were the stars. After being on the show, O’Barry helped to make the dolphin entertainment industry more popular, making dolphin shows more normalized. O’Barry didn’t realize the dolphin shows were so bad for the health of the dolphins after making them popular. This makes the audience feel sad for O’Barry – he built up an industry for years, and now he’s trying to take that industry down. After not realizing the entertainment industry was literally killing O’Barry’s dolphin, Cathy, O’Barry felt true remorse when he realized how harmful the shows are on dolphins. O’Barry explains that Cathy committed suicide. At first, as an audience member, one would find it hard to believe this is true; however, it was true. Dolphins have to physically choose to take every breath they make. It’s not like how humans will eventually gasp for air after having a contest to see who can hold their breath the longest. If a dolphin chooses it doesn’t want to take their next breathe, they won’t. This was the start of O’Barry’s realization that the industry he’s in is a corrupt one. He said, “A dolphin’s smile is nature’s greatest deception, it creates the illusion they are always happy. You realize after a while they don’t really belong in captivity.” Nothing he’d ever do could bring Cathy back, but he could become an activist and stop mistreatment of other dolphins, and spread the word that dolphins are very intelligent creatures and don’t deserve to be in captivity. It’s not healthy for them.

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“Into the Wild:” Synthesis Essay

Trying to find himself, just like many of us wish to do, Chris walked into the wild in 1992. He was very smart and even graduated from Emory University. Chris was a social and caring person in high school; he cared about those less fortunate than him. None of these characteristics are ones of someone who is insane. In Jon Krakauer’s book, “Into the Wild,” he explains why Chris was a smart, skilled adventurer. Although some may argue Chris was suicidal, insane, and woefully unprepared, after using a variety of sources, it is clear that Chris McCandless was a free spirit in hopes of escaping everything he knew in hopes to go on a life changing adventure to not only find himself but to also find family and a feeling of belonging.

When reflecting upon Chris’ choice to go into the wild, Chris’ sister Carine said, “From the time we were small children, still unaware of how children come to be, I remember Chris being consistently told through our mother’s tears that the family struggles began with his birth, when she became “stuck” with our dad. Chris carried this unfounded guilt with him until the wisdom that comes with age resulted in feelings of betrayal and eventually anger. This mislaid blame was never rescinded, only ignored. Seeing no alternative but to completely remove himself from the pain he could not manage, Chris had just cause to leave in the way that he did. For him it was a matter of survival. He overcame adversity to live a positive and beautiful existence on this earth. His brothers and sisters understand and respect that.” ( Carnie’s dialogue helps explain how much Chris was impacted by his childhood home life and what his siblings thought of what he did. Although it was clear Chris’ parents weren’t always the best, this quote, coming from someone who was also experiencing the same child. Seeing no alternative but to completely remove himself from the pain he could not manage, Chris had just cause to leave in the way that he did. For him it was a matter of survival. To someone who may come from what they think is a perfect childhood, this explains why Chris left.  Chris needed to get away from his household and the toxic environment that came with his parents. Not only was Chris just put into a toxic environment, but he also shared completely different ideals and morals than his parents. For example, Chris’ parents, Walt and Billie were very big into money, whereas Chris was very much so against materialistic items.

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“Into the Wild:” An Epilouge

Throughout the novel “Into the Wild” John Krakauer makes an argument about the adventurer Chris McCandless. Krakauer notes McCandless as a pilgrim; not someone who had a death wish. Throughout the book and emphasized in the epilogue, Krakauer helps persuade a reader such as I that McCandless was in fact a pilgrim on a journey to find himself perhaps.

Krakauer adds details and makes specific choices in the book in order to help his argument to further validate my thoughts; that I, too, believe McCandless was a pilgrim. Krakauer gave specific details about Chris’ adventure and life journey to show the reader he was not insane. One of the major points Krakauer brings up in the book to help validate both his and my beliefs about McCandless is showing the relationships McCandless had made on his journey.

Although he may have not always agreed with his parents, they thoroughly loved him; as highlighted in the epilogue of the book when they visited the “Magic Bus” ten months after Chris died and leave a memorial plaque, flowers, and supplies in the bus. You can feel the heart breaking tragedy that the epilogue unfolds, as the reader got to know Chris so well throughout the novel. In Chris’ journey, he meets a number of different people who he shared intimate relationships with including: Bob and Jan Bures, Wayne Westerburg, and Ronald Franz. This helps show the reader he was not insane and was not only looking for, but was also very capable of creating intimate relationships with total strangers; it came easy to Chris.

Billie McCandless said to Krakauer, “Many people have told me that they admire Chris for what he was trying to do. If he’d lived, I would agree with them. But he didn’t, and there’s no way to bring him back . . . Most things you can fix, but not that.”

Krakauer was an excellent reporter in discovering almost every detail that pertained to Chris McCandless and his journey. The interviews he had with the people in Chris’ life help the readers of his book, myself included, validate their thoughts about Chris. It helps the reader have empathy for Chris and be able to better understand him and why he went on his expedition; to be a “pilgrim” as Krakauer describes.


“Catcher in the Rye:” Analysing Purpose

J.D. Salinger’s purpose for writing “The Catcher in the Rye” was to show how precious childhood is and to show how children need to be shielded from the adult life. When it comes to the very separate realms of childhood and adulthood, Holden fits in the childhood realm the most. He’s often a hypocrite and is never as perfect as he wants to be. The reader sees all of these characteristics of Holden in his interactions with others. Because of the death of his brother at a young age, Holden has found it hard to continue growing up. Since his brother died when he was a kid, Holden thinks childhood needs to be preserved and children need to be protected from adult life.

Holden is a rebellious character who hates authority and who is also very quick to judge adults and those of authority. Children however, are a different story. Pheobe, Holden’s sister is younger and they are very close. It’s easy to assume Holden doesn’t like anyone; however, he does like children. He is much more patient with them. For example, Holden said, “God, I love it when a kid’s nice and polite when you tighten their skate for them or something. Most kids are. They really are,” (119). The way Holden feels about children is unique to any other quality he has. He’s much more caring and less self-centered with children. Towards the end of the book we see more of Holder caring for children. Although he felt passionate about them the whole book, we see more of the actions he does to protect them later on in the book. He calls adults phonies and doesn’t like adults because of their negative influence on kids at times since he tries to protect them.

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Playlist as a Memior

  1. “First” (3:20) by Cold War Kids from Hold my home

Description of song – This is an upbeat, Alternative Rock song. The drums and guitar chords in the background make for a really great beat that makes you want to sing along. It has several musical pickups throughout the song that matches the singer’s angst in his lyrics.

Personal meaning of song – This song is about how the singer gets excited when he meets the girl of his dreams, but she makes him feel “cheated and lied” to. He says how she made a vow not to get mad at him and she broke it. He uses number of metaphors throughout the song to help describe how horrible these feelings he’s having because of this girl who he thinks is irreplaceable are.

Explanation of what the song shows about me – Experientially, this song shows my spontaneous side coming through, and reminds me of a great time with an old friend. The first time I heard this song was when I was driving alone for the first time after I got my license. It came on the radio and I went from just driving along to feeling like I was crusin’ in style. I felt pretty cool listening to this song with its steady beat that builds up and gets you pumped. I also associate this song with one of my best friends, because soon after hearing it for the first time, I showed it to them when they were driving me home late at night after having the best day ever with each other.

2. “No Scrubs” (3:40) by TLC from FanMail

Description of song – This is an R&B song that starts out with a few tranquil sounding guitar chords, followed by some rap lyrics, with a faster tempo and followed by an upbeat sounding chorus that makes you want to shake your shoulders and dance along with it.

Personal meaning of song – The artist is saying how she doesn’t want any “scrubs.” Throughout the song she complains about these types of people and how she doesn’t want to date them. She describes, “A scrub is a guy that thinks he’s fly, And is also known as a buster, Always talkin’ about what he wants, And just sits on his broke ass.” She doesn’t want to talk to a guy who just sits around without a job or money who is still living with his mom.

Explanation of what the song shows about me – This song makes me pretty happy whenever I listen to it. It definitely is one of those songs that can boost my mood in a second and I listen to if I’m starting to feel down. This song could also fall under the experiences category because I think one of the other reasons it makes me happy is because my stepdad told me when he was younger, him and his friends would play video games online and sing this as they beat their opponents and I thought that was pretty funny. (Psychology)

3. “Proud to be an American” (3:40) by Lee Greenwood from American Patriot

Description of song – This is a very patriotic song. It has an upbeat tone to it, and people do usually sing along to it, to also show how proud they are to live in America. The musical pauses between certain lines, really emphasize those lines as they are also sung slower for more emphasis than other lines, especially “God bless the U.S.A.”

Personal meaning of song – The artist singing this song describes how lucky he feels and proud he is to be ling in the U.S.A. He’s proud our “flag stands for freedom, and they can’t take that away.”

Explanation of what the song shows about me – This song encompasses the American culture and how people are proud of their American culture, tradition and patriotism. I remember hearing it during almost every 4th of July and the song really emphasizes what it means to be an American. (Experiences // Cultural)

4. “Wildest Dreams” (3:40) by Taylor Swift from 1989

Description of song – This is a Pop song that sounds mysterious and romantic to me. This song has a very calm tone and beat and is almost mesmerizing.

Personal meaning of song – This song describes how Taylor thinks whenever she goes into a relationship. She goes into it hoping if it ends, it ends well. This song is her realizing if it ends, it ends for a reason, instead of going into a relationship expecting this person to be “the one.” She also describes how she hopes if a relationship ends, the person still remembers her in a good light. For example, in the song she says “Say you’ll remember me, standing in a nice dress, staring at the sunset.”

Explanation of what the song shows about me – Society influences gender roles, which may be one of the reasons most of Taylor Swift’s following is female. Society could also have a lot to do with why I like her and Taylor Swift and her music so much (Society // Textual).

5. “Aquaman” (3:59) by Walk the Moon from Talking is Hard

Description of song – This song has a really happy, upbeat tone and is very reminiscent of 80s music. I think of this as being a song you would blast out of the speakers of your car while singing along to it on a sunny day.

Personal meaning of song – This band named this song after the DC comics’ superhero, “Aquaman” due to the fact it has the ability to survive under great pressure and very cold temperatures underwater. He uses this as a metaphor to describe the way he’s feeling about a person he loves, and references the ocean/water throughout the song. For example, a few water related metaphors the band uses is “You’ll never find it wearin’ a life vest,” “Just keep holding on, holding on to me, under, under the top of, the surface of the sea,” and a number more.

Explanation of what the song shows about me– I’ve liked this band a lot ever since 2012 when my brother first showed them to me after meeting them at a concert. I love this type of indie/alternative rock music that has a happy tone and listened to all of their songs many times. (Experience // Psychology)