Thursday, April 25, 2013

Taking Responsibility

     People should take more responsibility for solving problems that affect their communities for their nation.  If everyone took more personal responsibility, it would lead to change and improvement to the community.  If people took more initiative to solving national problems, they would feel more involved and rake initiative to get laws passed in Congress.  Finally, more responsibility will give people a more accomplished feeling in their life. 
     Often times people are more involved in their own problems than the problems of their community.  This leads to people taking less responsibility of their community.  It is called the social loafing effect.  It is summed up pretty much in one phase:  Someone else will do it.  If everyone took more personal responsibly for their community, the community problems would be carefully addressed and the community would have multiple solutions to choose from.  The options could be discussed and the community could use the solution that gave them the best chance at solving their problem.  The more people in the community who care, the better the community will be.   
     When people take more responsibility for national problems, the problems get solved faster.  If everyone lets Congress know how they feel on the issues, Congress could make accurate, informed decisions based on the peoples wants.  Congress could stop arguing and just turn to the people and ask them what they want.  It would lead to a faster, more democratic way to solve national problems. 
     People feel a sense of accomplishment when they solve problems.  IT makes people feel fulfilled and that they have a purpose to their life.  People who feel fulfilled are less likely to commit crime and have a higher life expectancy.  Less crime promotes for a better society and less community problems.    
     People should take more responsibility for the community and for national problems.  It helps solve problems quickly and efficiently.  It also gives people a sense of purpose and fulfillment.  More responsibility promotes for a better society and a higher quality of life.


Time Wasting

     Some teachers have the wrong priorities.  They spend the first ten minutes of class lecturing about how much time we waste of hers.  We talked for 20 seconds after the bell rang.  She talked for 10 minutes about wasting time.  Doing the math, we would have to talk 30 times in her class to equal the 10 minutes she wasted.  Some teachers focus on controlling their class.  They feel if the students are totally cooperative, they will have an easier time teaching them.  This is true but total cooperation comes at a price, resentment.
     Time wasting is an interesting subject in school.   We spend 35 minutes walking to different classes.  Is that a waste of time?  Teachers give work time for students when the work can obviously be done at home with no teacher help.  Is that a waste of time? If students come to school to learn, why waste their time with useless rants and time fillers.  Instead, if teachers can’t muster up a decent lesson plan, tell us of a life lesson they have figured out the hard way.  Show the kids something they will use in the working world.  Talk to them about something that interests them.  The biggest resentment I see from kids is when teachers assign meaningless homework. 
     How do teachers instill the maximum amount of knowledge into kid’s minds?  This is the real question teachers should be asking.  The answer will vary from teacher to teacher and subject to subject.  Two traits are universal in instilling knowledge: humor and common sense.  Kids don’t pay attention in class because the material is not interesting to them or they are tired.  Humor keeps kids on their feet and paying attention.  It’s very hard to fall asleep when the teacher is making jokes.  Common sense is another necessity.  If your students don’t understand the material, connect it to something they do understand.  This concept is so lost in the modern teaching world.  The best way to learn new information is to assimilate it to something you already know.  In the thirst for knowledge, time wasters are detrimental to success.  Students waste time yes, but teachers are just as guilty.  Together, we can change to become more efficient and learn as much as possible.   


Sushi House Server

Oye Vey.  That is all I can say about my first server experience at a restaurant.  There are so many aspects to waiting that people never consider.  Waiters work hard and have to get a lot done so people can just come in and eat. 

When I started training at sushi house, the manager told me to study the menu.  I spent the next two hours just staring at the menu, trying to memorize menu items.  When I finally had some of the names memorized with their corresponding menu items, I went up to start shadowing.  Needless to say, I had memorized the wrong types of things.  I needed to know what kinds of vegetables are in the food.  I had memorized all of the wrong things.  Damn.  The manager chuckled a little and sent me to the back of the kitchen to start learning the kitchen. 

The kitchen is straight forward unless you don’t know the menu, in which the kitchen is really confusing.  There are multiple waiters moving around, preparing salads, soups, rice, and entrĂ©e dishes.  The problem with learning everything is false confidence.  You think you know how to prepare curtain dishes until you make it and learn you did it wrong.  The scolding follows as you are shown how to do it again.  There are curtain ways to hold glasses and poor water and everything.  You have to do it their way.  If you don’t, the scolding starts again.

The hardest part about being a server is the technology.  Servers are supposed to know how to book tables, put in orders, separate sushi orders, hold dishes that take little time, print checks, print tip checks, and adjust tips.  There is so much the computer can do.  People always seem to want a special order for their meal.  Whenever someone asks for something special, it takes extra time to input the order.  Then, you have to go to the kitchen and make sure they understand what is different.  If you don’t, and the cooks mess up the order, the server has to pay (full price) for the meal.  Mess up one table and your night’s earnings are gone.

There is a lot of terminology among the waiting staff.  Most orders are shortened because customers order quickly.  Drinks are all abbreviated and even renamed.  The lingo can be a big much as a new trainee.  There was no warning or explanation with the lingo.  Use context and figure it out.  Thanks, that’s a lot of help.

In the end, the tips are worth it.  It is strenuous work that requires a lot of mental and physical effort.  Waiters work very hard and deserve the tips.  Trust me.  


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Commentary on Gun Rights Article. CNN

              This article really spoke to me.  I have researched quite a bit on the shootings and possible options.  There were ten options I heard: Strengthen gun laws, Keep gun regulations the same or relax them, Arm the schools, Improve school security, Cut down on violence in the media, Improve mental health care, Cover the families, focus on parenting, bolster kids’ social skills, and report it.  All of these have pros and cons.  This article spoke on the fact on arming the schools and gun laws. 
            Obama has been very conservative in his speeches about the action he will take as President.  When you look at the strings behind him, it starts to make sense.  He is a man of the people.  Gun rights and laws are split 50/50 on both extremes in this country.  “It would bring about another civil war to decide this problem.”  They are on the money on this one.  Recent polls show that the country is split on the issue.  They are on the extremes and butting heads.  Any big action will ignite uproar and chaos.    
            They also state guns won’t go away from our culture and PACs.  All over the country, ours shelves are stocked with guns.  It is a common item.  Many law abiding citizens take part in hunting, shooting, and collection.  There are also thousands of killers that own guns.  They said it would be impossible to take their guns away.   I also agree with them.  It’s valid.  A majority of people will hide their guns and protest until they get their guns back.  The issue is to split to take drastic actions in either direction.  The PACs, such as the NRA, also assure guns in our country.  The NRA started as hunting enthusiasts, but turned into one of the most powerful PACs.  The NRA succeeded in helping four out of every five candidates it endorsed in the 2010 congressional election.  An alliance with the Republican Party assures that they will never stop influencing elections.  There will always be a large opposition to strict gun laws.  That is why there has been a loosening in the gun laws in the past decade.  Most states allow people to carry their guns into most public areas. 
            The author suggests we negotiate with the NRA and Congress to ban automatic weapons and try and tighten gun laws slightly.  He also states that an increase in protection at the schools would deter possible assailants from a rampage.  If there was a rampage, the officer would be there to eliminate the threat.  Although it is expensive, I agree that there should be a cop with a gun in every school.  We live in a world of guns.  There is no feasible way to remove guns from our society.  We need to protect the children and make them feel safe.  The article hits the blunt reality that we can’t take away guns.  We can only protect the children.  Hopefully some action is taken.    


The Dentist

And the reason I dislike him
          We have all gone to the dentist and we have either seen salvation or the end of a drill. When I was 8 I had my first cavity and I decided I wouldn't have another one. So I tried to brush my teeth regularly. That didn't work next year I had 8, yeah 8 cavities. I spent hours in that chair with drill after drill. I had to stop this from happening so I made a system and I brush twice a day and floss almost every day so I was extremely confident coming into this office. However, my teeth still had a cavity even through all that extreme care. To make things worse my little brother who hardly brushes his teeth ever had no cavities which i feel is teaching him a bad lesson. Making him think if he ignores it, bad things won't happen. Hint: They Will. I know it isn't my dentist's fault that I have had to be at the wrong end of his tools. I just always associate the dentist and the dentist's office with pain and evil. Which is hard to do due to the fact that the place is brightly painted and happy. I am keeping up my ways but it is very hard when the results don't always come out as they should. This was not the end of my tooth issues though. All through middle school I had braces. Which are uncomfortable and just plain inconvenient. After those were off it felt like a miracle finally my teeth could have a break. Like I said before Mr. Gehring actually is a really nice guy and we joke around until the tools come out. It just shows you that sometimes the things that are awful to do are the ones that need to get done the most.


Thursday, April 18, 2013


Jonathan Burstain
Ap Lang.
Kirk Ferentz

1.Oh how I exalt Kirk Ferentz,
2.the most famously unknown coach in college football,
3.except when you mention his salary
4.where he ranks 6th.

5.Frantic fans flock to the stands of Kinnick
6.only to watch their Hawkeyes lose to Iowa State.
7.Atleast he beat Central Michigan, oh wait…

8.His play calling is staler than two week old bread.
9.The plays scream out before the ball is snapped.
10.Even Helen Keller knows what play is going to be called. 

 11.Kirk Ferentz is as reliable as the I.R.S. collecting taxes.
12.You know he will rustle together a sub-par team finish in the lower-middle of the conference,
14.barely getting us to our yearly reservations at the Alamo Bowl.
 15.Oh how I exalt Kirk Ferentz…

Line 1 (and line 15) is an example of verbal irony.  The whole poem bashes Kirk Ferentz but the major premise is how much I look up to Kirk Ferentz.
Line 2 contains an oxymoron.  His is famous for brining Iowa out of 2-10 seasons yet he has done nothing in his tenure to make a name for himself recently.  He is known from his big salary (mentioned in later lines).
Line 5 is an example of alliteration.  It creates energy within the line only to watch the energy die in line 6 when I mention them losing to Iowa State.
Line 8 is a hyperbole.  It is an exaggeration of how predicable and stale Kirk’s play calling is.   What is staler than old bread? 
Line 9 uses personification.  Plays can’t scream.  The play is screaming what its plan is before the actual play happens.  This infers that the opposing team knows what play Iowa is going to run before the ball in snapped. 
Line 10 is an allusion.  Helen Keller is deaf and blind.  The fact that she can figure out what play is going to be called infers that the play calling is really obvious and predictable.
Line 11 is a simile.  What is more reliable than the I.R.S. collecting taxes? Death, but I felt that mentioning the I.R.S. would stir some negative emotions that people would then associate with Kirk Ferentz.
Line 12 uses an onomatopoeia.  “Rustle” is often used to describe a noise that is made.  It’s an ironic onomatopoeia because finishing in the lower-middle of the Big Ten conference doesn’t make a lot of noise.  Finishing in the bottom of the conference causes the media to stop talking about your football team. That’s why rustling together a football team is funny because the football team doesn’t make any national noise anymore.      

Saturday, April 13, 2013

My Fitness Pal

There was a new application I found last week that has changed the way I eat.  It is called my fitness pal.  It takes your height, weight, age, and everything that is related to burning calories.  It then asks you how much weight you would like to lose.  It is pretty incredible.  It really makes me work before I eat.  If I want to eat something, I have to open the app, find the food I want to eat, and stare at the amount of calories I am going to consume.  Usually the guilt of the calories or my laziness changes my mind about the food.  I don’t starve but all of the mindless eating has stopped.  I am not eating because I am bored anymore.  Trust me, those mindless calories add up.  I have lost 7lbs that I put on during my spring break cruise.  I am really happy and I feel more energized.  I really recommend you get this app if you want to take an easy step to losing weight fast.  There is no pill.  There is only control of how much food you intake and how much you exercise.  Hope it helps someone as much as it has helped me. J



Nothing beats a juicy steak but beef can be unhealthy for you.  It isn’t unhealthy because it is red meat.  It is unhealthy because most cows are marbled with fat.  This fat is saturated and bad for you.  Steak is great in moderation.  Here are some other meat options to help live a healthier life.

Buffalo (Bison)
No matter how good white meat can be, it will never truly satiate the craving for red meat. Buffalo, however, can. It’s probably the reddest meat you’ll ever see and unlike beef, it’s pretty good for you.

A hunk of buffalo has far less fat than steak and buffalo are generally grass-fed, which means healthier meat. Let’s compare burgers: Your typical lean hamburger (10% fat) contains about 0.32 oz (9 g) of fat. Buffalo burgers, on the other hand, contain less than half that, about 0.14 oz (4 g). Not bad for a tasty burger. There was a point when buffalo were endangered, but the beasts have made a comeback, especially on ranches. Today, buffalo meat is readily available in most grocery stores.
White meat is much better for you than red -- that’s a well-known fact. As such, chicken (not deep-fried) is a great alternative to red meats. It’s low in fat -- without the skin -- and it’s pretty tasty if it’s prepared correctly. Chicken is a great source of protein and, as an added bonus; it’s less expensive than beef. But remember, there’s always the risk of E. coli infection when you’re dealing with chicken. Be sure to cook or heat it to an internal temperature of at least 165F to kill off the bugs.

Also, charred grilled chicken can contain some cancer-causing chemicals, such as heterocyclic amines, so limit your consumption of well-blackened chicken.
Turkey is a relatively recent addition to the world’s protein menu, and it’s great for you. Turkey is generally a white meat (turkey breast), but it has more flavor than chicken, and its dark meat can be oily. Try and stay away from the dark meat.  Turkey meat is also relatively low in fat: one 4.9 oz (140 g) serving of skinless roasted turkey contains about 0.25 oz (7 g) of fat.  It is a great alternative when you are sick of eating Chicken.

Salmon is a personal favorite although my girlfriend won’t touch the stuff.  It has a unique taste that people either like or hate.  Some people acquire a taste for salmon but most know right away whether they like it or not.  Anyway, to the beneficial properties of salmon.  Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids.  These omega-3 fatty acids are essential to proper brain function.  Deprivation of omega-3 can lead to depression, improper brain function, fatigue, and weight gain.  A 8 oz. fillet has 48 grams of protein and 16 grams of good fat.  It is also a good source of Thiamin, Riboflavin and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Protein, Niacin, Vitamin B12 and Selenium.

Hawkeye Special Team Predictions

      There’s no denying Iowa took positive steps in special teams last season. This coming season, the special teams is the only thing that looks good.  Senior Jordan Cotton returns to the Hawkeyes after taking “1” (really 2) kick offs to the house.  He is really strong.
     More often than not, special teams have helped as much as they’ve hurt. You arguably could pin a few losses on flubbed onside kick recovery attempts (Minnesota in 2010-11 and Central Michigan last season), but for the most part, Iowa’s special teams have been perfect segues to the ensuing commercial break.
For example, the Hawkeyes finished 24th nationally in kick return defense last season. In kick returns, it was No. 50. Iowa was great at covering punts (No. 13 at 4.41 yards per return), but not so great at returning them (No. 80 with 7.44 per).  We aren’t allowing big plays or making them.  With the addition of our new special teams coordinator, Chris White, I think things might change.  We will still keep big plays from happening but we might make a few big plays for the sports center top 10.  
      New assistant coach Chris White spent the last four seasons as special teams assistant with the Minnesota Vikings.  He did have Percy Harvin to work with, but he is still very good.   He knows how to stop big plays (something Iowa is usually really good at) and he is also really good at making big special teams plays.  One thing the Hawkeye fans should look for is a blocked punt/field goal.  Coach White has made it one of his marquee plays.  Big kick returns from Jordan Cotton is also possible. 
     One thing Iowa really has to work on is the onside kick.  Kirk Ferentz said in an interview that some players are assigned to block and some are assigned to receive.  He went on to say that neither assignment was done well.  We shouldn’t have lost to Central Michigan because that personal foul at the end was bull shit.  We shouldn’t have given up the onside kick! It was ridiculous!  The Hawks look like confused school girls.  Just because there are two kickers doesn’t mean you lose focus.  It means you have one less person coming after the ball.  I think the Hawkeyes have to completely change their strategy of the onside kick.  They need to have a couple less blockers but make them offensive line men.  Then put your back-up receivers in behind to secure the loose ball.  Back-up receivers aren’t practicing with the first team so they will have more time to practice the onside kick.  I do not want to give up one onside kick this year.  It has attributed to 3 loses in the last 3 seasons and it is totally unacceptable.  That is one reason Ferentz hired Coach White. 
     My prediction for the special teams is that they Hawkeyes will have an incredible year.  They will block one kicking attempt and score 3 TDs off of kick offs.  They will even get a muffed punt.  Big aspirations, but that’s what comes when you hire someone to focus on special teams.   

Monday, April 8, 2013

Nebraska Spring Game 2013

Nebraska won my heart on Saturday when their football team put seven year old, Jack Hoffman, into the football game.  Jack Hoffman has had a rough seven years.  He has been through multiple surgeries to battle his brain cancer.  He is a true hero. The Nebraska Cornhuskers have adopted Jack to their team.  He has attended multiple practices and games.  Football is his favorite sport and he has really enjoyed being a part of the football program this year.

Last Saturday though, was something different.  The Nebraska spring game is a real football game.  It has major implications on who will start for the following year.  There is a lot of pressure on the players to perform.  The usually have around 60,000 people watching their spring game.  In the middle of their aggressive spring game, they brought out Jack Hoffman in full uniform (number 22).  He was positioned at running back and when Martinez hiked the ball, he handed it off to Jack.  It was a real play.  The seven year old began to sprint passed the colossal defensive players in his race to the end zone.  Offensive players did a pretty good job blocking and making it look somewhat realistic.  When he scored a touchdown (it was put on the board for the record books), both benches of the Nebraska football team emptied to surround Jack.  I can only imagine the joy Jack felt.  A big tip of the hat to the Nebraska Cornhuskers for showing the country that there are some things that are more important than football.  I respect their program and will root for them until the Hawks go to Lincoln.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

NIT Champs > First Round Big Dance Loss

Number 3 seeded Iowa Hawkeyes will play Baylor tonight for the NIT title.  Many say that they would have rather lost first round in the big dance than win the NIT.  If the Iowa team was full of experienced seniors, I would probably agree, but that is not the case.  Iowa is a very young team who needs more game experience.  Iowa has also played four games on Espn and gained good national exposure.   I would much rather win the NIT and take the momentum into the off season than go lose in the first round of the big dance. 

Iowa is very young.  If you take a look back to the start of the season and the middle of the season, you will find our struggles.  The young team didn’t know how to close out a game.  They struggled late and weren’t able to put games away.  It all comes from experience.  As the Hawkeyes finished the season, they showed a little composure but still struggled.  The NIT has given the Hawkeyes a great opportunity.  Extra practices and games against solid teams have aloud Iowa to practice closing out games.  They have proven that they can play smart basketball, get a nice lead, and close out a game.  That was simply not true when the Hawks started this year.  The young guys, such as Adam Woodbury have gained two weeks of extra practice and high-profile games against stiff competition. Woodbury and Gabe Olaseni tested their skills against Alex Len, Maryland’s big man and projected lottery pick, and didn’t shy away one bit.  

Iowa has received a lot of recruiting buzz from the NIT.  The NIT airs during the dull times of sports.  There was no Miami heat record to watch, no big dance games, only the Hawks on Espn.  The games were fun to watch too.  Carver Hawkeye was sold out for the two NIT games.  Nobody is talking about Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota, teams that were knocked out early in the big dance.  Iowa is still talked about.  Recruits are watching these games and it is leaving a good impression.  The benefits from winning the NIT will carry forward to the next year. 

Iowa has a great chance to win the NIT this year.  They are on fire defensively and are shooting with poise.  I fully expect a win tonight fairing the Hawks don’t become complacent.  I highly doubt that will happen.  The positives from winning the NIT will carry the Hawks easily into the big dance next year.  Maybe we could even snatch a 3 seed for the big dance? Anything is possible in basketball.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Iowa to NIT Finals!

     Iowa is heading to the finals of the NIT.  They had a solid win in the final four against Maryland.  There were four keys that won the hawks the game this time.  Devon Marble played extremely well as he has during the NIT.  Lone senior, Eric May, proved he can provide momentum and leadership on the court.  Iowa’s defense was outstanding.  Finally, Iowa was able to close out a game for the second straight game.
     Devon Marble.  The NBA is going to have to take a look at him.  He had a super-efficient 21 points on 16 shots, grabbed 9 rebounds to go along with three assists, a block and a steal, and generally looked like a player with no fear and infinite swag.  He has averaged 24.3 points per game, 4.8 rebounds per game, 4.8 assists per game, and 2.5 steals per game in the NIT -- oh, and he's only been whistled for TWO FOULS through all four games.  That is the best run by any Iowa player in a long time if not ever.  Marble struggled for two games midway through the season but since those games, he has been on fire.  He will definitely be a key to winning the NIT championship game.
     Eric May.  Lone senior.  Poor guy was caught sleeping on the plane.  They put a playboy magazine over his hand and waste area.  It was funny as hell.  How does May respond.  He records his best game of the year.  He had 12 points, 4 rebounds, a team-best 5 assists, 3 steals, and only 1 foul in a team-high 36 minutes of playing time.  Seniors always seem to step up at the best times and Eric May chose a good game to step up.  Iowa fans should be proud of his performance. 
     Iowa Defense!! This is the defense we missed in the last game.  Guys were steeling and anticipating passes!  Maryland had 17 turnovers that lead to 27 points.  Game, set, match.  It is very hard to win when Iowa commits a season low 7 turnovers.  This was the aggressive, block contesting, stone cold defense I want to see every game.  If this defense shows up, Baylor has no shot.    
     Iowa was able to close out a game! Hooray.  With two minutes remaining, Iowa was clinging to a four point lead.  Eric May managed to get fouled and nailed both free throws.  Senior, Eric May also made a clutch three pointer to put the Hawks up 9 with 40 seconds to play.  It was the knife in the back of Maryland.  The Achilles heel of this team was closing out games.  Eric May sent a message that closing out games was no longer a problem.  He did it perfectly.
     It was an amazing game for the Hawkeyes and a well-deserved win.  Nobody expected the Hawkeyes to go to the finals but we made a statement that the Hawks have come to play.  We are winning convincingly and often.  The Hawks are 11-2 in their last thirteen games.  It’s really exciting to see how much this team has improved in March.  I am very excited for tomorrow’s game as well as the season next year!