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College?

The college experience is determined by the decisions you choose to make while pursuing a higher education.  When someone mentions college, a plethora of memories come to mind.  Some may think of the academic side of it and the education they received.  The long, sleepless nights of studying, the heartless professors that would make class miserable, or getting your first 4.0 are some things you might remember.  While the education and skills you acquire during your time in college are important, I would argue that most people remember their college experience by the social interaction during that time.  The new lifelong friends you meet, the nights you do not remember, and stupid and pointless thing you did because you did not care, are a better description of college for most people.  I am writing about this topic because I see too many people who do not make the most out of their time in college.  The only “requirement” of college can be generalized as obtaining the knowledge and experience in order to prepare you for the career path you choose.  It is also the time for most students to relax and take advantage of being able to wake up go out whenever you want and get up at whatever time you want without having to worry about what your kids are doing or whether the mortgage has been paid.  I realize that this may not be the case for everyone, as some have it harder than others, but to a certain extent I think it holds true. To make it clear, I do value my education a lot and put much effort into maintaining my GPA, but I think it is important to realize that college are a measly 4 years out of your life when you will probably make many of the memories that you will laugh about with your friends for the rest of your life.  With all that being said, I believe it is important to maintain a balance between the objective of college and the opportunities that are presented during that time.

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Today everyone seems to be glued to their electronic devices.  Whether its the cell phone, computer, iPod, or video games, are attention is always spread thin as a result of this perception that we always need to be multitasking. It’s almost as if people today are escaping reality by the means of these virtual screens that always us to see anything we want at any point in time.  Electronics are necessary to be productive in today’s world, but I think it has a rather negative side effect.  Physical interaction is decreasing as a result.  I think it affects those who may be introverted a little more than those who are sociable and outgoing in the first place, because they accept being able to obtain everything they want to know virtually as opposed to going out and interacting.  I think the flooding of social networking the is primary cause of this.  Also, in a recent article in the NY Times by Thomas Fredman, there again seems to be this idea of passive engagement.  In the article titled “Generation Q”, Thomas compares activism of the days when racism was so prevalent to today’s generation “Q(uiet)” response to current event regarding our future.  As opposed to gathering in group for a cause or becoming involved in politics or social movements, we simply click a button to show support for a cause on Facebook.  It is funny because you would think that with the explosion of technology and ease of communication, it would have the opposite effect.  But I guess, this “ease” has embedded this idea that it is sufficient to passively support cause or a movement and that someone will make it happen.

It wasn’t until winter quarter of my freshmen year that I became serious about weight lifting and started doing it routinely.  Through all of high school I would lift weights here and there with my friends.  Playing football in high school also introduced me to the basics of weight-lifting and muscle building as we had team workouts in the gym regularly.  But it was not until college that I designed a program for myself to increase muscle weight and increase overall body strength.  I must say that as time went on, I became more involved and interested in how I could increase the weight of my lifts or how I could improve my form.  Spending a couple of hours, 4 days a week at the gym not only made me stronger and bigger but exposed me to wealth of information on the subject.  I learned various different techniques and tips from watching and discussing with other guys in the gym who were much bigger and obviously doing it for much longer than me.  This adherence to lifting and getting bigger really transformed my life.  I began to manage my diet and I became very aware of the foods I ate.  I simply felt much better about myself and my self-image.  Spending a lot of time researching various topics from appropriate dieting to the anatomy of the body really motivated me to excel in the weight room.  I talk about this topic because I feel that many people neglect the benefits of exercising.  Some may view it as foolish to lift weights to stimulate muscle growth but it not only improves overall health, but also increases your mind’s ability to focus.  Lifting may not be for everyone, but exercising and physical activity is necessary in preventing disease and promoting overall wellbeing and I would recommend it at least a few times a week for everyone.

So in the first class of the quarter, there was a comment by a classmate that sparked my attention :

                                    Knowledge is based on words.


Or is it? Knowledge is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as follows:

(1) : the fact or condition of knowing something with familiarity gained through experience or association

(2) : acquaintance with or understanding of a science, art, or technique

The reason that this grasped my attention is because I think that the idea of knowledge being based on words is far from true.  From the definition above, I can think of many ways in which knowledge does not rely on words.  While I will admit that words, or the language of which they are a part of, are a means of conveying knowledge, I disagree that knowledge depends on them.  In the early days of Neanderthals, before words existed, humanity had to communicate using actions and gestures.  The concept of words at that point in time was unimaginable, yet knowledge of hunting, gathering, and making fire was required for the survival of the nomadic populations. For a more current analogy, a car mechanic does not acquire knowledge of how to fix a car by reading about it in a book, but by watching another mechanic do it and practicing it himself.  I am not saying that one cannot acquire knowledge through words, as much knowledge is acquired by doing reading and speaking, but saying that knowledge is based on words is a stretch in my opinion.

I do not believe in gay rights.  Upon first reading this statement you may or may not immediately label me as a bigot and a prejudice person.  This is not the case however.  If you try to understand my logic behind this belief, you might actually realize that the most of the controversy and debate surrounding this topic could actually be avoided.  I do not believe that rights of citizens should be determined by one’s ethnicity, gender, or even sexual orientation.  Thus I do not believe in “gay rights”.  I do believe however, that everyone should be treated equally.  Furthermore, I believe that marriage is the union of a man and a woman that is meant to be a lifelong relationship.  By this definition, people of the same sex do not qualify for marriage.  Should people of the same sex be allowed to spend their lives together if they make the decision to do so?  Answering no to this question would violate the principles upon with this country was founded.  It should not bother me nor anyone else if someone else chooses to live their life this way.  I will not say whether homosexuality is a choice or a genetically acquired trait, because I have not been in this position nor have I studied the matter.  However, we must realize that the center of the debate is whether gay couples should be allowed to get married.  The term marriage, as I mentioned earlier, is a sacred bond between a man and a woman to many of those in the religious community, many of which oppose marriage between those of the same sex.  Is opposing marriage in this sense really prejudice? I do not believe that the gay community should be discriminated against for their beliefs or way of life but why try to become a part of an institution that does not recognize the relationship.  I believe that the equal separation between civil unions and marriages can go a long way in compromising between the two sides of this fiery debate.

Hello world!

Hello,

My name is Pawel.  The name is Polish and can be pronounced Paul, but I do not mind if you prefer to pronounce my name the way you think it would sound.  Anyway, I am writing this blog because it is a requirement for the Human Communications course that I am taking.  I have never really followed any blogs, or had one of my own, but I do think it is a neat way of expressing your thoughts and feelings for everyone to see.  After originally learning that we would have to create and maintain a blog with multiple entries, I was pretty upset.  I am not one who really enjoys writing.  However, as I went through the process of creating this blog, and looking at the examples, I accepted this assignment as a means of practicing the expression of my ideas through writing while sharpening my literary skills.  Throughout the quarter I will be writing about different topics that happen to come to mind.  These topics might be about an idea sparked in class, or a situation that I encountered earlier in the week.  I hope to express my ideas in a way that will interest anyone who might want to read my blog.