Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Shopping. Shopping. Shopping... The real meaning of Christmas.

Christmas Day... Otherwise known as, "Let's see who can spend the most money and have the best gifts-day."
There is a "real" meaning to Christmas, regardless of whether or not you're religious. For centuries, Christmas has been both a secular, and religious holiday... (for further information regarding the history of the holiday, go to 
So why all of the sudden has the meaning of this glorious day changed into a competition between families to see who has the most expensive gifts? 
Yep. I couldn't answer that question either. It doesn't make sense for the world to waste a day that is simply dedicated to charity. No one can deny the happy feeling that this time of year brings.
Soft snow falls, the smell of peppermint, and family togetherness all add to the wonderful feeling of Christmas time. It doesn't matter if you happen to believe in Christ; even if you don't, there is a bigger meaning to Christmas. 
Christmas is all about love and service. You don't need to have a belief in a God to understand that Christmas time is all about loving each other and having a willingness to serve.
It's time that we re-think Christmas. What are children learning about Christmas these days? That it is a day where they get a countless number of gifts, or that it is a day where they get to learn to love all those around them?
The commercialization of Christmas is something that perhaps cannot be stopped. But I have a firm belief in mankind, and just as Anne Frank said, "I believe that people are really good at heart." I hope that people come to understand that goodness and are able to see it in other people. 
I would like to wish you all happy holidays. And it is my hope that we all emulate the "Christmas Spirit" and give something to someone who has less than we do this holiday season.

And for your viewing pleasure, here is an awesome video that plainly states, it's not all about the gifts...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bullying And New Media

Recently, a friend of mine shared a video with me that has begun to go viral. And I'll share it with you now.

My heart breaks for Jonah Mowry. But what I find especially upsetting is that others have similar stories to his. YouTube is new form of media that, in recent years has been the outlet for so many people. It has given people like Jonah Mowry the opportunity to share their stories and seek the support that they need so badly. 
But we must be careful. New media like social networking sites and YouTube have also become places where bullying has found a new home. While bullying still happens in school yards across the world, the vast expanses of the internet have now become its new home.
New media allows populations of people everywhere to connect themselves to those who mean the most. All the while, allowing people to tear down those who they hate the most. Let us be cautious in how we choose to utilize this new media. Let us use this media for the greater good, rather than putting others down like Jonah Mowry. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Are All Men Really Created Equal?

It was 235 years ago that the founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence; a document that literally changed the world. In this world-changing literary work they stated that, "all men are created equal." This assertion was immediately challenged by the issue of slavery. It wasn't until 1863 that Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation that slaves were freed. Nearly a century later, civil rights for those of the African-American race were still up for debate. 
The phrase, "all men are created equal" had immense meaning for African slaves brought to the US and their descendants. The issue of racial friction has always been associated with said phrase in the Declaration of Independence. Today, Americans face a different kind of equality. 
Religious freedom was one of, if not, the main reason why colonists decided to come to America in the first place. In the upcoming election, religion has become the main topic of discussion. The question of whether or not a candidate will be a good president has now become dependent upon their religious affiliation. The opportunity we, as Americans have, to worship freely is a right that anyone of us would fight to keep if it were necessary. Is it right for other candidates and the media to judge a potential candidate's ability to be president based on their religious affiliation? 

Friday, October 28, 2011

This is "real" beauty?

This is what is known as beautiful.
While the influence of the media has, for a long while, been a part of our daily lives, now more than ever, it is influencing EVERYTHING. 
It influences the way we feel about ourselves and what we perceive as beauty. 
The world is a beautiful place. And it should not be tainted by the fake beauty that the media projects. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Music: The International Language

Shakespeare once wrote, “If music be the fruit of love, play on.” For many years, studies have come out stating the importance of educating young children about music. Whether it’s teaching them to actually play an instrument, teaching them how to sing, or letting them play with musical toys, music has always been an important part of each child’s education. Shakespeare’s plight that music continues to play has, until now, been heeded.

In school districts across the nation, music programs are being shut down due to lack of interest and funding. Children nowadays are now uninterested in music because they haven’t been exposed to its benefits. In the Douglas County school district south of Denver Colorado, music programs in elementary schools have been completely shut down. As a fourth grader in the Douglas County school district, I was able to learn how to play the viola. I absolutely loved my orchestra class. My mind was overwhelmed with all of the music I found around me. I thought the viola was beautiful. The polished wood, the strings, and even bow seemed inspirational to me. I was amazed at the beauty of such a small thing.

For me, it was that one music class my fourth year in elementary school that started my love of music. I loved how the classical music made me feel. It was peaceful and calming; absolutely beautiful. I am ashamed to say that the same people who worked so hard to have a music program at my school are also the same people that are now finding no value in having music programs anymore. “Music is integral to a child's early experiences” (Youth Music). Children’s minds grow at a fast rate, and they always need something like music to stimulate it. Countless studies have been done that show that kids who listen to Mozart or other classical music have a higher intelligence than those kids who do not listen to that kind of music. Music has been said to be a “tool for enhancing the learning process” (Levy). Children would have a greater opportunity to learn if music was a more prevalent force in the learning environment.

It is disappointing to see children with such potential, not given any sort of opportunity to expand their minds with the power of music. Parents across the nation should raise their voices to this cause. Their children are being denied of wonderful opportunities to grow their potential talents and their intelligences.

As a former member of the Arapahoe Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, (APYO), I have been a witness to the terrible lack of interest and care in music education. Once a prestigious youth symphony, APYO, has now disbanded. The community has stopped supporting the symphony and much talent is now going to waste. The kids that were a part of that symphony no longer have a place to go to foster not only their musical abilities, but their minds as well. It takes a lot of brain power to be able to master a musical instrument and the kids that were a part of that symphony worked so hard to be there. The audition process was very challenging. Hours of practicing often times, wasn’t even enough for some kids to get accepted into the symphony. The kids that were accepted dedicated their time and money to the APYO program. They took their music very seriously. If it had not been for what those kids learned in their elementary school years, they would not have the opportunity to participate in a group as prestigious as the APYO symphony.

While not every child has the desire or the yearning to learn to play a musical instrument, I think it is important that every child gets the opportunity to learn about music. Music is the language that every person in this world understands. If the public school system sees music education as unimportant compared to sports teams, then they have very flawed logic. Yes, sports are very important as well, however, music is just as important. It is the very essence of every person. Music can speak to a person in ways that words simply cannot. How wonderful would it be if every person on the entire planet could be fluent in the same language? That is the power music has.

Public elementary schools need to reconsider their missions. They are put in place so that a young child can start off their school experience with a solid foundation of learning; a foundation that should be made up of many different subjects. Allan Reid once said that “music is timeless.” Music is something that will never change. It will always be around even in times of economic stress or political unrest. When someone passes away, often times it is music at their memorial service that brings the most comfort to those mournful people. Children today need to be able to understand the importance of music in the world today. With the removal of music programs in elementary schools, a child’s opportunities for their future are narrowed.

I have always found enjoyment in being able to play my viola. I still remember my old orchestra classes. Each class, I learned more and more about how I could not only improve, but how music touches people. I am so grateful for the opportunity I had as a young fourth grader to participate in music. If it had not been for that class and that music teacher, I would not be where I am intellectually, today. My mind has been able to grow and expand exponentially with my love for music. It is my plight that music education is taken seriously by elementary schools. Children’s minds grow very quickly when they are young. They are always taking in everything around them and everything that they are taught. If the younger generation can cultured with music, they will be able to comprehend more, and then they can lead our country into the future. In his most recent State of the Union Address, President Obama stated that in order to compete with the rest of the world, “we need to out-educate... the rest of the world” (Obama).

Music makes a difference; a big difference. Specific songs often times bring back memories that would have been otherwise forgotten if it hadn’t been for that song. Music truly is the essence of everything that a society is. It has amazing power; power that can change the world.

Shakespeare, William. Famous Quotes, Quotations, and Sayings at WorldOfQuotes. Web. 22 Sept. 2011. <>.

Levy, Yiftach. "Effect of Music on Learning: Davidson & Powell, 1986 = Easy Listening, Increase in On-task Performance for Males and Whole Class, Insignificant for Fem." Please Note the Change of Address! San Diego State University. Web. 22 Sept. 2011. <>.

Obama, Barack. "State of the Union." Address. State of the Union Address 2011. U.S. Capitol Building, Washington D.C. 25 Jan. 2011. The White House. Web. 22 Sept. 2011. <>.

Reid, Allan. Famous Quotes, Quotations, and Sayings at WorldOfQuotes. World of Quotes. Web. 19 Sept. 2011. <>.

"Youth Music - Youth Music Funding Statistics." Youth Music - Children's Charity UK - Youth Music - Music Is Power. Youth Music. Web. 22 Sept. 2011. <>.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mission Statement

Blogs. Facebook. Twitter.
All examples of social media that have literally taken over our culture.

Status updates and tweets have not only taken the youth of our nation by storm, but many political and economic issues have now found a presence amongst the various forms of social media.
Social media has now been linked to numerous revolutions occurring all over the world.
Immense does not even begin to describe the effect social media now has on society today.
My goal with this blog is to show how much power social media now has in our world. Delving into political issues, I will attempt to show how social media has either skewed or supported certain political agendas.
Our country is currently in an economic crisis. A crisis that has become close to home for many Americans. Politicians and economists are now using social media to influence the American people to take action and change our country.
For those of you that are still skeptical about the power that comes with all forms of social media, here's a video that was made for you.