The University Training Ground

 

 

A special thank you to everyone who wrote the couplets. Without them, this poem would not have been possible. Hope to stay in touch with everyone.

 

The University Training Ground

The education system is changing, but where do we stand

It was built for success but the system tries to break you

No one knows who you are, but the ironic part is that you don’t know either

People start on the right track  in the beginning; until something stops them during the ride

Some people jump off the train and lose themselves

Some will continue the journey others will never continue

All of us should strive to be different; all of us should strive for our own greatness

The Best Generation

Each generation has several qualities that sets them apart from the everyone else. Some of those qualities are good, others not so good. However according to Joel Kotkin, the author of “Are Millennial the Screwed Generation?,” the millennial generation is on the not so good spectrum. Kotkin tries to argue that the millennial generation is “screwed” in various aspects including, economically, financially, and academically. These key issues are putting this generation in a setback, causing Kotkin to have a broaden belief that we will eventually “screw America.”

Then again, why dwell on the disadvantages when there are so many positives of being a part of the millennial generation. Our technology is steadily advancing. Many technological advances such as cell phones and computers seemed a far off to past generations, but thanks to the millennial generation, these innovations are now improving everyday life. The millennial generation also lives in a more diverse society and we are witnessing many social issues such as gay marriage be granted to deserving individuals. Moreover, the Pew Research Social and Demographic Trends defines the millennial generation as being “confident, self-expressive, liberal, upbeat and open to change.” Although we are bombarded with financial strain, including student debt and a poor job outlook, we still are obtaining a higher education because we value its importance. We pass laws that give rights to what pass generations would consider not worthy of having, because we view everyone as equal and everyone deserves a chance at happiness. This generation is not letting the problems that Kotkin describes bring them down. They are staying optimistic and are looking towards a better future.

I completely agree with the characteristics Pew gave to the millennial generation. I view myself sharing those same characteristics. If I am anything, if we are anything, we are unique. A really uplifting statement given from the article, Millennial medium chill: What the screwed generation can teach us about happiness, says “Maybe this generation won’t have a worse life, but just a different life.” We all have our own beliefs, ideas, and values, and that is what makes us different from everyone else. Yes, we may seem flawed to some, but all generations have their flaws. These flaws just give future generations something to learn from.

 

Work Cited

Kotkin, Joel. Are Millennials the Screwed Generation. 11 July 2014. Newsweek LLC. 9 September 2012.< http://www.newsweek.com/are-millennials-screwedgeneration-65523>

Pew Research Social and Demographic Trends. Millennials: Confident. Connected. Open to Change. 11 July 2014. Pew Research Center. 24 February 2010. <http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2010/02/24/millennials-confident-connected– open-to-change/>

Thompson, Claire. Millennial medium chill: What the screwed generation can teach us about happiness. 11 July 2014. Grist Magazine Inc. 30 April 2013. < http://grist.org/living/millennial-medium-chill/>

History within Objects

 Blog #6 pic

 (Conical Cup on Stand, 4600 BC)

Going to an exhibit and embracing all the historical artifacts was truly wonderful. It allowed me to actually focus on the differences between generations. There is a major difference between the generations, especially the types of objects that could be found back then. Within the museum there was a “Conical Cup on Stand” and it was just remarkably outstanding. This object game me a flashback to the generations where cups like these were in households of rich families and they would use them to drink the finest wine back then. An interesting fact about the cup and stand was that it was made out of clay. I would assume that since this object was from 4600 BC that the object was made by hand. Also, the cup is the original part, but the stand is not from the same archaeological context but fits the cup (Conical Cup on Stand, 4600 BC).

As a result, the finding of this cup and stand is very valuable to our history. The worth of this object is valuable for the reason that it is an old object that has been preserved for many years. This object goes back with so many generations and it was very significant back then. This cup gives our generation a background and insight of what could have been seen back then. It was significant and very important for the reason that it stood for high status in the family. This cup and stand was typically used for drinking beverages. In addition, this was also used for special ceremonies and it was given to visitors or guests (Conical Cup on Stand, 4600 BC). As significant and valuable as it was back then it still is now but not as much back then because it was important to the people’s background. It has all come down to the point where we can emphasize that an object can be differentiated by generations. A similar object as the cup and stand is used right now, but we do not value it as much because we simply have regular cups to drink from when we are thirsty. All of this comes to show that objects change over time and it involves the people within the generation that make this change possible.

Stephanie Perez

We Are Our Own Hero

Gabrielle Cuzzola

July 30, 2014

I don’t believe there is one single person that can represent our generation as the “next hero.”  The idea that someone has to be an iconic figure to make an impact is something that is now a thing of the past, still lingering but now evolved into something more powerful.  The McKays’ collaborated on the elaboration of each generations theme is and who best represented that generation in their article, “The Generations of Men: How the Cycles of History Shape Your Values, Your Idea of Manhood, and Your Future.”  This is the perfect example to show the evolution of each generation.  In my opinion,  this prevents people from developing their own heroism within themselves. Instead of feeling that you should be more like this iconic figure, it provides more a gateway of bringing self-awareness of one’s own heroic attributes.

Perhaps what I am trying to express is our generation is learning how to be our own hero, as a collective group of individuals. Oscar Wilde once said, “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.”  This is something that has been engraved into my mind and made its way into one of my life mottos.  Creating an identity for ourselves let alone our generation is something that is no easy task but a challenge that I will relentlessly accept.  In my perspective, I see a common theme of independence, confidence, and innovation.  Being dependent on someone seems to be an inconvenient vulnerability; I want to be my own hero.  I want to grow and learn from experiences of my own and not vicariously through someone else’s.

As one voice that is apart of many millennials, sharing this opinion feels natural to me.  Although, other millennials may not agree with me but thats the difference between our generation and previous generations.  We aren’t easily swayed to conformed to societal norms.  We have seen what components, such as war, art, media, etc., has shaped generations in their own respective way.  It seems we millennials have different approach of how we want to define our generation. The next hero embodies all of us; who is to say who that should be?

 

 

gabrielle

 

 

Cristiano

 

Evan Louro

 

Their are many different way that people in todays day in age think of the perfect man. In my mind i think that the perfect human is Cristiano Ronaldo. He is my idol because we both play soccer and he is the best in the world and naturally everyone is going to idolize and want to be like the best soccer player in the world. I think when many people think of the perfect man they think of him. The main reason for this besides soccer is because he is very marketable. He is always in magazines and the face of clothing brands. This in turn has made him a household name across the world. Everyone knows who Cristiano Ronaldo is regardless of where they are from. 

I think another main reason why he can be perceived as the perfect man is because of how he carries himself. The ideal perfect man in today’s society has to carry himself in a certain way with dignity and with character. Cristiano has this way about him that many people respect and he is very up front in the way he feels and i think that is a great aspect of being the perfect man. 

He grew up with nothing. He grew up in a small town of an island off the coast of Portugal called Madera. He moved away from his family when he was just a little boy because he was signed by a dam called Sporting Lisbon on the mainland of Portugal. His family was poor and as soon as he was signed he began to make money. Since he was making money he began sending money back home to help support his family because they were so poor. When he got to about 18 years old he moved to Manchester, England because he was signed by Manchester United who was actually here to play against his current team, Real Madrid this past weekend. 

He is now the richest soccer player in the world and from coming from nothing that is pretty special and now he has everything and he can support his whole family. This is the last and most important characteristic of the “Perfect Man” because in order to be considered a perfect man you need to be able to make it on your own and succeed even through hardships.

Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 04 Aug. 2014. <http://www.biography.com/people/cristiano-ronaldo-555730&gt;.

 

What Defines a Man?

The millennial generation has been defined and many ways: “confident and ambitious goal-setters, and remain optimistic despite the downbeat economy (Strauss-Howe). In order for someone to represent this generation, I believe that they need to share these characteristics. Within the millennial generation there are plenty of individuals to choose from, that could possibly be the face of this generation. Although, many individuals would think that the person that should represent this generation should be a person that has faced many obstacles in their life, or a person who is trying to make a significant change in the world, or even a person who was very poor and then all of a sudden they are a successful millionaire that gives many of their earnings to the unfortunate, I beg to differ. I do not think that the person who represent the millennial generation, should be a person who seem flawless. If they seem flawless, there is no way to learn from and work towards. The person that should represent the millennial generation should be someone you could compare yourself to. Someone who is working towards a common goal and who can potentially make a difference in the world. This should be a person who can own up to their mistakes and learn from them, instead of brushing them under the rug. The individual that I believe should represent manliness for the millennial generation is my best friend Larry Patrick.

I first met Larry when I was in the 10th grade, he was in the 12th. Although neither one of us can remember exactly how we started to hang out, we are very appreciative happy we are very close friends. In the Strauss-Howe article, it states that a man lives a good life, if they “don’t make a fuss about it, just be responsible, do the right thing, be competent, and get the job done.” I have always known Larry to exemplify these examples. He is being raised by a single mother because his father died when he was only twelve years old. He tries to help his mother out as much as possible, by helping her pay the bills. He is currently in working and going to school full time at the age of twenty. For most people his age, they may think that that is a lot of work, but I never hear Larry complain about it. He has many goals that he is trying to achieve, and he has a mindset of being the best at everything he does. I admire Larry’s hardwork ethic, and he represents everything a man should be. If Larry doesn’t represent manliness for the millennial generation, I don’t know who does.

Pre Classic

Sam Junge

The Idea of the great American runner has been lost for decades. Other countries put forth multiple top tier athletes and the US continues to fall short. However American running is on the rise. Steve Prefontaine is once again popular, an American won the Boston marathon. Things are changing in the realm of american athletics. Prefontaine fought dozens of social standards and rules of athletic society to prove that the current definitions of amateur standards were wrong. Prefontaine was a young and rising American star that was Fighting the amateur status set by the Olympic committee. He was an elite level of sports, living in a trailer off food stamps and 3 dollars a day. he was payed in shoes, and still performed and represented the modern athlete. He died young, but he was the face of iconic American athletic representation, and continued even after his death to be a figured head for the US and Olympic sports in a world distraught with turmoil. The world was on the edge of a 3 Great War, and due to the professional presence, of amateur athletes such as Pre, helped show the face of he modern American to the rest of the world.

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Undefeated

TBE

We as humans are known to glorify violence and aggression as traits of a true man. In this day and age can there are not many sports viewed more “manlier” than boxing. It just so happens, that the top boxer of my era just so happens to also be my role model. Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. is a captivating figure that has dominated boxing for as long as I have been alive. His brash “in your face” attitude is often the subject of much debate, but his talent is undeniable.  He has conquered multiple different weight classes on his was to an incredible 46-0 professional record. He embodies the term “self-made”, and was able to market his himself under the brand TMT (The Money Team).

Floyd was born in a nomad generation, one that is described as being able to “find their own norms and are exposed to the world of adult dangers and anxieties at a young age. Consequently, Nomad children grow up fast and often engage in risky behavior” (Mckay). This description fits Mayweather perfectly, as he is one of the most controversial athletes of his time. He doesn’t hold his tongue for anyone and speaks his mind at every chance. His flamboyant lifestyle that includes a multitude of luxury cars, regularly attending strip clubs, and high-stakes gambling has been the subject of much media backlash. But through all the adversity, Floyd never lost sight of his goal to be one of the greatest boxers of time. The real controversy surrounding Mayweather is his overwhelming success inside the ring. All of his extracurricular antics wouldn’t be meaningful if he didn’t have the skills to back it up. What people don’t see is the countless hours he puts into the gym, the hard-work that goes into being a champion. His in-ring bravado is what really captivates me, as he never seems nervous or out of control in a fight. I have been watching all of his fights for nearly a decade, and not once can I recall him being rattled in the ring. The pressure of each bout is immense, as he has fought in 3 of the top 5 biggest Pay-Per-View fights of all time. His brash lifestyle has garnered him plenty critics, who would love nothing more than to see the arrogant boxer be humbled by a defeat. Mayweather has yet to give them that pleasure however, and he seems to shine under the lights.

What makes Floyd truly the face to the missing question mark for my generation is his independent success. Floyd was able to become the highest paid athlete not because he followed the social norms and went to college and got his degree. Mayweather is an icon for his ability to step outside the box and be successful on his own. An “early exposure to the realities of adult life give them strong survival skills and a fierce independent streak that makes them well-suited to navigate the societal Unraveling that surrounds them” is what Mckay states about nomads. Floyd channeled his anger from a difficult upbringing into fuel for his burning desire to be a success. He could of followed the path of his father and went to jail, but instead he made something of his life. What makes his story truly unique is how he used his athletic skills to create an opportunity in which his family is set for generations to come. He invested in himself and is now reaping the rewards. He owns his own clothing line, and sales everything from shoes and hats to iPhone cases. I respect Floyd Mayweather’s independence and courage to be himself no matter what anybody else thinks of him. But more importantly I admire his mindset of reaching all of his goals and being a sports icon when he could also just been a statistic in jail. In a lot of ways Floyd Mayweather embodies the ideals and traits of what It means to be truly a “manly man”.

 

Works Cited

  • “The Generations of Men: How the Cycles of History Shape Your Values, Your Idea of Manhood, and Your Future.” The Art of Manliness. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 July 2014.

 

 

The Hydra Epidemic

revolutions throughout history often follow a pattern of process. They start with social injustice, the mob mentality takes over, a power struggle occurs, and things start to change. It is a recipe for social practice. When enough citizens of the middles east decided to take a stand against the injustice among their countries, the Arab spring was started. Social media helped ideas spread like wild fire faster than the governments could shut them down. Political officials were genially overwhelmed by the masses of information being spread and the shotgun precision of the spread allowed for public peaceful and violent protests to occur on scales large enough to rapidly change the shape of the political face of the Middle East. The use of technology in the Arab spring was the first large scale revolution that utilized modern media, and although it came at rapid speeds compared to revolutions in the past, and it was much more aggressive, it still followed the recipe for revolution.
Similarly, those who chose to participate in the occupy wall street movement thought me selves to be revolutionists. The difference lies in the set up of the recipe. The “99%” was truly much much less than what they established themselves as. They tried to claim the voice of the silent majority, and ended up costing the silent majority millions of dollars for the taxes they payed to keep the streets that the protestors vandalized. They supported the businesses that the occupiers took advantage of. The mob mentality did take over, but they lacked any power, and couldn’t cause any true change because of it.
regardless, of intentions, history must repeat itself. That is why there is a recipe. But the wheels often turn in rhythm, if you cut off the head of one dictator, chances are, 2 more shall take its place, hence, the hydra epidemic. The Bolshevik revolution brought communism and Stalin. Germany’s revolution of the early 20th century, brought the holocaust and totalitarianism. Even the American revolution brought the power struggle between France and England, the north and south of the US, and the western world struggle. It all goes around, and the suggestion to offer, is moderate modern revolution.

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My Mark of a Man

My representation of what I see as manliness in today’s generation is retired professional basketball player Shaquille O’Neal. Shaq is one of my all-time favorite players. Ever sense I was a young child that was the man I wanted to be. A three-hundred and forty pound, 7 foot tall monster of a man who absolutely dominated the court in his prime. Who had a goal in mind and achieved it. Even though I don’t play basketball anymore and I’m not 7 feet tall, I’ve come pretty close. Shaquille O’Neal Is considered one of the best centers in the NBA of all time. He was a dominating force everyone on the court knew to stay away from. In the athletic aspect of Shaquille O’Neal is what I admire so much because it what I yearn to on the football field one day. From an athletic aspect it is what I see as manliness but Shaq has so much more to him, now that he is retired he went back to school to finish his degrees which another big part of being a man intelligence. Intelligence in a man is important especially in the US. Intelligence is seen as a way to get ahead here to earn a better living hence why so many people enter college. Shaq understood that just living as a wealthy retired basketball player wasn’t what was important. What was important was his education. He understood that the life after athletics was more important than anything else. This what I have a great understanding for that as well. Shaq is also a hard worker even though he’s made millions of dollars he continues to stay active in the working force. He is now and commentator on ESPN. In the article by Strauss and Howe they describe the hero as “generation as tend to feel more attached to their fathers than their mothers, as the masculine energies of war and civic involvement are revived during a Crisis, and gender roles begin to widen. The Crisis provides Hero men with the chance to perform distinctly masculine feats of courage and prove their manliness.” I believe in a way the people of this generation do this with heroes in our lives whether they are writers, actors, professional athletes or even like they said our mom and dads. We hold up templates of them and try to sketch our lives in order to resemble theirs as much as possible. Because we see it as if it works for them we can follow that path and make it work too. We all have our own faults. I’m positive all my templates have made mistakes as well. But its our job as the new generation to learn from them, and day we could become some young child’s template.