Thursday, April 19, 2012

Class Review....

The final blog I am going to publish for is class is going to be focused on my own format of a critique on the class over the course of the semester. I will first give my own personal feelings on how this portion of the class work made me feel before I started blogging. Then I will focus on how I felt once I started the blogging assignment. Next I will be rating the blogging and how I felt about other the course work required in this class. And I will close with my final thoughts of the course and my overall assessment of everything.
In the beginning, I really had no idea what blogging was like. I knew that blogging was a popular thing that some people I knew to be extremely nerdy, in my opinion.  I had thought that the blogging component of the class was going to be a complete waste of time. I felt that this assignment was a band aid to the fact that there was no real way that this instructor could assign work out of the textbook. Then I started to blog.

The aggravation of starting the blog is still with me. I do not know if perhaps some of it was due to my computer, using the wrong Internet browser to do the assignment, or just potentially my incompetence with computers finally being realized. Making the sight stuff happen was difficult it seems, but ended up being really fun once I learned to not take the instructions literally word for word and to make it work out of sequence in some spots. Before I even realized it, the blog site was set up. I felt like I had truly accomplished something that I had never done before. The only thing I can truly say that baffled me was figuring out who was in my class and how to go about finding/adding all of my classmates.  Once I figured it out, thanks to my teacher, I knew what to do.
The class work in itself was a decent balance of work to help ensure that I was able to learn without being overwhelmed. I did not see myself asking a lot of questions, but merely turning in the coursework as I needed to. The work overall in itself made me feel that I needed to keep up with the readings and not to procrastinate, or else my grade was at risk of being below what I wanted it to be. Long story short, in order to do well I actually had to stay on top of things in order to do well, rather then procrastinate throughout the week and wait until the assignments were due at the last second before I decided to even open the book or come up with a blog on the fly.

In closing, I felt that the class was set up to ensure that I learned more of the course work then some of the other classes I have taken in the past semesters. The blogging was a lot of fun, but also a highly valuable way of ensuring that I was somewhat familiar with running my own web account. I enjoyed the teacher encouraging us to blog about miscellaneous ramblings as well as giving us an idea to blog about if we could not think of anything to talk about.  I had a lot of fun overall and did learn more then I thought I would from this class.

Monday, April 16, 2012

My Bucket List....

The topic of the week is what I want to do before I die, or a bucket list as it is called. A grim topic to think of, but one that also has the potential of guiding my life’s actions towards an end I may feel more prepared to meet. There are so many things I have not yet managed to do. I have my son to think of as well, so whatever it is I would want to do, I would need it to be something that he also would enjoy to do.
 The first thing I would like to do would be to see my son through the course of his entire education. Whether it is merely a general high school diploma, technical school, trade school, or college I want to see him succeed and do whatever it is that would make him happy. I want to see him meet the right woman and start his own family. It is one of my goals to ensure that my son’s life is prosperous and to do everything that I possibly can for him to make it to that point in his life.               
 Another thing that I have recently wanted to make a part of my life is to take up artwork as a hobby. I was looking around my home and noticed that I wanted some more decorations to brighten up the atmosphere of my living room and kitchen. I went out decoration shopping one Saturday afternoon and did not find anything that matched my home that I actually liked, unless I wanted to re-paint my entire home. That, plus the cost of some decorations did not really seem completely worth the quality of most of the stuff you seem to find lately. So I was at first considering asking somebody to create some decorations for me, than thought it would be more fun if I could take up some classes to create my own. 
I would definitely have to re-connect with my sister. She is married to a guy in the Air force and he is presently stationed in England, where she lives at this time. We Skype regularly and she constantly tells me that she would love for me to fly overseas with Jacob so that she can finally meet him. Once I have more of my affairs in order and Jacob is a little older I do plan on going to see my sister. Furthermore, I have always wanted to travel and see different parts of the world, so for now England will suffice. In the long run I would absolutely love to be able to travel to a new place once a year. It has always been a dream of mine to travel, so one day I will.

In conclusion, there are so many things that I want to do in my life that I cannot merely list them in a specific five paragraphs. I want to read more books, see more movies, listen to more music, try new foods, and make more friends. I want to finish college, obtain my degree, and set my career on a better track in life. I would like to go out and have fun with my friends whenever I am free. I am hoping to eventually find another man in my life that is decent and somebody that I can settle down with. I do not entirely want to think of a bucket list to have when the end closes in, but instead I just want to think of my life as being a path to fulfillment. Despite whether or not I achieve all of my goals and dreams in life, I know that with the right attitude and an open heart that I cannot go wrong.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Media Influences...........

This week’s blog topic is pretty much an open forum, so the topic I have decided to blog about is the degree of control our post modernistic media puts into our minds within television. I do not intend to do any more then rant about topics I feel personally engrossed with. Other then traditional feedback from followers, the catch this week I would like from my blog followers though is rather than receive feedback saying good job and what not. This week I would like to hear open thoughts stating whether or not you agree with me and why in a short response to my blog. Another possible reply I would be open to hear from you all is an example of your own if you would like about how media influences your perception on things so that I can possibly learn something new.
 The first area of media I would like to focus on is the most present and dominant form of media in our world, which (for now) is television, though the internet is on its way to replacing television. The view that television really concerns me is in children’s (pre-teen age) programs. In television I remember watching when I was a child we saw traditional families and more appropriate ideals for children to follow, however now the majority of television seems to encourage far too many adult themes into the minds of children. It is good that children grow up being independent and make these decisions when they feel capable and prepared to, but when so many shows and programs follow the same general themes and patterns of message portrayal I feel that this leads to an increased social pressure for children to make adult-like decisions that they may make a decision that they may not completely want to at far too early of an age.
  Another area of concern that television has made me feel lately is the increase in advertising. Usually commercials don’t bother me because they make excellent bathroom breaks,  chances to check on something I am cooking, or any kind of miniature break from television to do whatever else I need to do. But in the last ten years I have noticed that advertisement has increased in both number of commercials and duration of them too. Most shows are now becoming a few minutes shorter then they were as I was growing up. A newer idea in advertising that has been maximized lately is the idea of product placement in television programs. The best example of product placement would be taken from the television show “Two and a half men”, a show that I used to absolutely love until that moron Chuck Lorre ticked off Charlie Sheen into quitting, then to replace him with a not so good actor but better looking Ashton Kutcher and then start to make episodes that just suck in comparison to the original format rather than just come up with a new television show altogether. From the kind of beer in Charlie Sheen’s hand to the cars the characters are seen driving, to even the most mundane and subtle little detail of the fast food the fat kid in that show has in hand when walking into the scene, these are the most subtle and subliminally influential kinds of ways to steer the audience in that general direction. The demographic research that these industries do now tells them everything necessary to send a message that may be more influential to that audience. The usual followers of a television show are then regularly influenced without even realizing it. This bothers me because in one sense it is influencing me to make unnecessary decisions, but the underlying premise of this is the subtle manipulation of advertising that is being placed into my mind subliminally and against my will. Does any small urge I may have to eat, whether or not I am even really hungry, truly require me to follow an instant impulse to go out to Taco Bell or McDonalds simply because I am watching a certain television show? I am being coerced mentally to do something that I do not entirely want to do.
  Another component of media influence that I have noticed and dislike is the ever-growing influence of politics in media. The general themes that we notice in media and politics re based off of biased research into public perceptions, which is then put into parameters to be edited for television set to lead people to draw inaccurate/incomplete conclusions about issues in our everyday lives. This is mostly accomplished through the news. As we are upon elections soon, we will see snippets of candidates propositions and beliefs on issues portrayed as if what is displayed in the news are completely accurate and honest entire portrayals of what each candidate is about. The realistic nature of media is to capitalize the television time as best as possible. The influence that media has on everyday people has actually been partial basis to the US Supreme Court’s intention to influence a political monopoly on media through elections of certain officials (the underlying is some of the basis of this is in a 100+ page 2010 US Supreme Court case called Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission) within 30-60 days of elections political figures are more restricted now. Hillary Clinton at one time in the 2008 election had nearly gotten in trouble for being shown on either HBO or Showtime hour long appearance of some kind, but due to the law the appearance was not allowed, the basis being the potential for influencing people to her cause in a disproportionate manner. Things like news appearances are acceptable because the news is supposed to be a neutral portrayal of entire perspectives, but for a political figure to abuse potential connections for a monopoly of influence that other candidates may not have the same connections is not considered legal. Though this does borderline violating the 1st amendment rights to free speech and press and may have contributed to the Republicans 2008 presidential election, there is clearly a connection with how dominant the media is used to influence our minds. And for television corporations to have the power to influence the regiments of our governments is an entirely scary power to leave completely unhindered to being without any kind of control or limitations.
 In conclusion, my feelings on media are generally that media clearly has the potential to dominate the decisions that most people can make. I am not entirely against television, I am a person who wants to be in control of making my own decisions on my own accord. The influence that media is growing to have more of by the day could easily one day borderline complete mind control if we allow ourselves to become controlled by the media. The media conglomerates are not to blame for the influence though, it is all of the pressure our society places on selling that leads to such a need for research to learn how to more effectively influence people. A direct consequence of increased desire to influence is driven by corporations to maximize on one part of the market alone. A consequence now is that since it has worked for one, there is potential for anybody to have even more influence people in the same general method. Though I worry that the internet has more potential, I also know that it is also far more limited to our control of what we want to be viewing. That is why I plan to be buying TV through Netflix,, Hulu,, and the other many forms of digital television that are available. While there is the same potential for influence, there are far less commercials as well as actually having a more diverse and unrestricted choice in what I can watch at a far less price than satellite and cable offer on a yearly basis.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

My favorite childhood memory!!!

        One of my most favorite childhood memories had to be the year I spent at summer camp. I was 13 years old at that time. The camp I went to for one week was called the Wilds ( The camp was in Brevard, North Carolina. I never had such a great week during a summer vacation in my life, and it rivals many of the vacations I have been around time.
        My father took me up to North Carolina. On the way there I was nervous because I had never been to a summer camp before and had not spent more then a few days away from my family. The scenery was really awesome, though the drive felt like it took forever since I had not been eager to go in the beginning. I remember when my father left, the shellshock of being alone for the first few minutes. Then I started to meet new people.
        The first person that I opened up to was a girl named Alicia. She was a girl from West Point, Mississippi that I knew through church, though until summer camp had no interest in being friends with her. We started talking when all of the kids at the camp were allowed to go white water rafting. What an exciting way to get to know somebody as you are being tossed around in a fast flowing river! We started talking to alleviate fear, found out that we had a lot in common, and have been good friends ever since. Even one of my most intense memories came from camp, bungie jumping! To fall without anything expectedly underneath you has to be the most liberating and free feeling one could ever experience and one I am happy to have been allowed to experience.

        Not only did I make a good lifelong friend, but I also grew closer to God in such a way I felt as though I could feel God change things in my life in such a way that my pulse only continued because He wanted it to. I had a lot of pent up emotions that came to surface, that God amazingly cured at a campfire one night. What I can only describe as an open confessional one night, I told one of my most dark secrets in my life at that time, that I deliberately disobeyed God by hating my mother. From that point I was given advice to help me with dealing with my negative feelings. God was burdening my heart so much that I was saved that night as well. What an awesome feeling knowing that when I die, I will be going to Heaven!!

        By the end of that week I had learned a lot of things about the outdoors, made a lot of friends, grew closer to God, and grew as an individual person. I was also able to talk to my mother and we dealt with the issues that I had been dealing with at summer camp. I attribute much of my everyday life that goes well to being simply achieved because of the time I spent at summer camp. I went back the following year, though I did not get to see the same people as I would have liked to. Whenever I feel any negative feelings in my life I usually tend to think about that week at camp and remember that if I can bungee jump then I can face anything I have never done before!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The place that I wished I lived....

The place that I wish I lived in would be Iron Mountain, Michigan. An odd place coming from somebody who has lived in Mississippi their entire life, I know. I once was given the opportunity to visit Iron Mountain when I was married. My ex-husband Dan surprised me with a trip so I could get away from Mississippi. The trip was set to be a 5 day trip, 2 days of driving and 3 days stay in Iron Mountain, MI.
The reason why my ex-husband Dan went was because he wanted to go hunting and had heard from a family member that there was a wide variety of animals that you could potentially hunt for in that general region of the country. We left Mississippi and drove through the beautiful jagged terrain of Tennessee. Then we passed through the small mountain state of Kentucky, where the air is probably the cleanest air in the country. After that we cut across the endless corn fields that make up the state of Indiana. Next we moseyed along north into the surprisingly desolate fielded state of Illinois and endured some of the craziest driving in the north when we hurried through Chicago, IL. After Illinois we were awestruck at the most gorgeous yet simple beauty that you can only see in Wisconsin. And finally we were in Iron Mountain, Michigan… after what ended up being near 24 hour drive.
One piece of advice that I can never stress upon anybody going that far up north, dress very warm because it is well below 0 degrees up there! When we finally arrived we met up with my ex-husband’s family to stay with them in their amazing 5 bedroom oak cabin. We had an excellent dinner with them (elk strips, potatoes, and Jane’s specially spiced broccoli!) and went to bed early so Dan could be able to go hunting bright and early with his family. We also had plans for us all to sightsee around Iron Mountain once the guys were done hunting for the morning, only to have to put off the tour of the town until later due to the fact my ex-husband killed his very first moose!!!
Iron Mountain, MI was a very small town. The population was set at around 900 in the county. We all had lunch at a location that once served as Al Capone’s alcohol brewery during the Prohibition era, which still had all of the bullet holes in the wall from when the Federal Agents had shot up the building in effort to kill Capone on at least one occasion. Furthermore, there is no official sources that will accredit the upper peninsula of Michigan as the prime spot for any of the alcohol brewing during Prohibition… the closest that they do come to naming Iron Mountain as such a place is by saying that Capone was making and brewing alcohol from Canada and transporting it through the great lakes into the US. The people in the area were devoted Christians mostly that believed that they lived in probably the nicest part of the country, despite our claims that they have not seen nice until they come down south and stay there for awhile. The scenery was almost entirely wooded mountain terrain that was nested around 70 miles from Canada.
After a few days of hunting, some more of the best food I have ever eaten, more nice people to meet, and a lot more to learn we had to come back home. Another day from the time we left Iron Mountain, MI we were back home. Despite the fun we had up north and an amazing experience, from that point on I looked at where I lived and felt more at home then I ever recall feeling before I went on that trip.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Most Important Person in my Life


One of the most important people in my life is Joy. Joy is my son’s cousin. She is related to my son’s father who passed away in January 2011. I met Joy for the first time after my son was born. She is the first real friend that I have had in my life in a long time. When I lost my son’s father, in many ways I was alone.

My family had been distant with me during the time my son’s father died. Many of my friends were in and out of the picture than eventually I had no friends because they were not always able to hang around me due to busy lives of their own. Little did I know at that time that I not only had I got assistance with my son, but had just met one of the most important people that influenced me the most in my life. The one person who I consider as a mother to me is Joy.

Joy was born in Alabama. She is married and has a son. Her husband and her son are like father figures to my son. They take care of him just as much as Joy does. My son knows that he is well loved by this wonderful family. He knows them by name, and loves to call out their names all the time.

Joy is one of the most inspirational people I have ever known. If anything were to happen to me, than I know that Jacob would be taken care of by Joy. Joy has been so supportive of me since my son was born. She knows that I am pursuing a college degree and encourages me to do my very best.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Song I couldn't live without

The song that I have chosen to qualify as a song that I could not live without hearing would be a song written by the rock band Van Halen on their album “Balance” that was released in 1995. The song is titled “Don’t Tell Me (what love can do)”. This is a song that touches many dimensions of modern reality and has limitless applicability in everyday life. In my opinion this song was one of the last songs written by the brilliant musician and songwriter Eddie Van Halen before he took yet another deadly plunge into indulging in illicit habits that once again began to ruin not only his career but the high quality of musicianship that he brought into his music, to which the evidence to solidify this claim lies entirely in the 3rd wave of Van Halen with the short lived tenure of singer Gary Cherone to replace Sammy Hagar.
The first major theme expressed in the music video was symbolically mixing the struggle one must experience when love has placed them in a vulnerable and desperate state to being similar to that of someone desperate enough to turn to crime. The video follows the arrest of a young man to being incarcerated for some crime where not only did he make a bad choice but now has to survive the misery of paying for his decision. This makes me feel sorry for some of the wrong things I have done in my past (non-criminal behaviors, of course) merely because when I had to answer for my actions I felt in some ways just as that guy did in the video. Though the consequences of my actions were unpleasant, seeing this video also makes me reflect later upon the necessity of hurt. Without the pain there is no lesson, thus no motivation to stimulate a change towards a more positive way of living.
The second theme referenced in the lyrics that really makes me feel like I am apart of this song is the referencing of God in this video. In the beginning lyrics it is about being entirely in control of your life for yourself, with no consideration for anything else in the world. As the song progresses, the lyrics then suggest that through prayer and surrendering your decisions to serve a higher purpose for God than yourself with all of the effort that you possibly can in order to find something better to live for. This message can be confused easily because the chorus, emphasizing not to tell what love can do, sounds as though it is rejecting the entire notion of God being able to save you and living for yourself. The video illustrates the opposite. It is artistically saying that you will fall away from God and act on your own, but that when you are desperate and mess up again that God is still their for you waiting for you to change your life more for him. Also, that by asking for help you are not merely given the help, but must go through trials and tribulations to truly receive what God is trying to instill in your life.
A third theme present within the song is really how cruel the world can be to somebody that messes up. You take somebody who is struggling and put them through a tough environment and they do not always merely find God. Some of them harden up to their environment during the tough times only to become worse off then they are before. I have seen good people go bad from punishments simply because the punishment was too harsh. I have experienced such a devastating loss a little over a year ago that if I would not have had the love of some of the people that I have in my life I am certain that I would not be here writing this blog. I could easily have been a different person if I did not have the help I received when devastation entered my life. I could not imagine how much pain I would still struggle with in my life, what kind of a terrible mother I could have become, what kind of poor decisions I could have made, or how unhappy I could have been feeling if it were not for love.
Though I have said a lot already, an effective closing is deserved out of my respect for this song. “Don’t tell me (what love can do)” is one of the most real songs written, especially in the 1990’s, when rock began mutate and take up so many different forms. This song is actually considered one of the best songs put out by Van Halen with Sammy Hagar. It was a wake up call to the fact that we all need to embrace love in a way we have never embraced it before and live our lives in a manner that is more compassionate to those on their way to desperate circumstances. It also echoes that though punishments are necessary that the limits of acceptability for punishments need to be more thought out, rather then merely acted upon.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

All About Me!!


Hi, my name is Amanda and I live in Columbus, Mississippi. I am in my late twenties and I have a 2 year old son named Jacob. I have been a single mother for a year now. Jacob is a true blessing from God. My son's father passed away January 2011 due to medical issues.

I am currently attending EMCC to pursue a Business degree. I have enrolled in online classes since Spring 2011. I have put in a lot of effort into doing well at EMCC. Though it takes a lot of time and effort, I have enjoyed college so far. I have learned a lot and continue to learn new and interesting things everyday. I am a full time student that hopes one day to own a business.

Unlike many people my age, I have a child that needs me all of the time. So where most can go out and have fun, I have to do what is right and put him first. Though a lot of my time is taken up to parenting, I enjoy doing everything I can to ensure that my child is healthy and has a fun childhood. Other than being a mother full time, I manage to do other things with my limited spare time. I enjoy reading, writing, and spending time with other family members.

I have a sister that lives in England. Her husband is in the military and is stationed out there. Ever since she started living there it has been my goal to fly overseas and visit. I have always been interested in traveling and would one day like to see more of the world then I presently have. I like to see new things and try new things. I feel that it is better to experience life to its fullest rather then be closed off to all that life has to offer.

A hobby I have always enjoyed is scrap-booking. To me scrap-booking is more then just the piecing together of miscellaneous memorabilia to fill pages of a blank book, it is your life presented as you feel it is best presented. I cannot find the words to best describe the importance of scrap-booking to me, but I can assure you that it is very important and fun in my eyes. I use the following website as a reference to make scrap-booking more interesting;
Mommy and Jacob