Sunday, July 26, 2020

The Random Hall 13s

The Random Hall ‘13s Graduation The 2014s just graduated, but right now I want to take you back a year. This blog post is about and largely by last year’s Random Hall 2013 graduates, who had their commencement  under a Boston rain that was persistent into the summer and the following fall. It was bizarre a year ago, and it was bizarre again this past summer, to see some of my best friends walk down Killian Court and out of my day-to-day life. All of them changed my life in a good way and I’m excited to see the changes they make in the real world. Unfortunately the commencement video was determined to not be embedded into this blog post, but you can  click here to watch it in its natural environment. In particular, there are two very different speeches that I think you should see. They both tell important stories, about MIT and about planning our futures. The first is DropBox CEO Drew Houston ‘05’s commencement speech, at 2:45:42, transcribed by the MIT News Office here. It is about risk, innovation, and life plans: I read something online that said, “There are 30,000 days in your life”.That night, I realized there are no warm-ups, no practice rounds, no reset buttons. Every day we’re writing a few more words of a story. And when you die, it’s not like, “Here lies Drew; he came in 174th place.” So from then on, I stopped trying to make my life perfect, and instead tried to make it interesting. I wanted my story to be an adventureâ€"and that’s made all the difference. The second is President Reif’s charge to the graduates, at 3:11:50, transcribed by the MIT News Office here. President Reif’s charge to the graduates is one of the most inspiring speeches I’ve watched, and I am honored that  my blog post  got mentioned. The speech is about MIT culture and it is about human compassion: I also want the family of MIT to be famous for how we treat people: famous for sympathy, humility, decency, respect and kindness.As you go out into society, I want you to change the source code. Rewire the circuits. Rearrange the molecules. Reformulate the equation. In short, I want you to hack the world, until you make the world a little more like MIT: more daring and more passionate; more rigorous, inventive, and ambitious; more humble, more respectful, more generous, and more kind. The diplomas start at 3:23:45. See if you can catch my Random Hall friends (below), the graduated bloggers, or Chris P. SM ‘13  getting his Master’s in Comparative Media Studies. The Future A few weeks after graduation and over the following year (which hopefully isnt terribly confusing), I asked the Random Hall ‘13s what they are tentatively up to for the next five years, what they are excited for, and if they have any advice for prospective students. Here are their responses: Melissa H. ‘13,  Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (course 6-2) When I graduated, there were so many emotions. Triumph, relief, excitementâ€"and nerves. I decided to postpone my job search until after I was done with classes, which left me in an uncertain state for the future. Out of the sky dropped a summer position. Back in 2011, I had UROP’d with the MIT Space Systems Laboratory working on the Zero Robotics program. This program teaches middle- and high-school students how to program fake robots in a simulator…with the final competition being run on real robots floating around in the International Space Station. I was a coder as well as a mentor for a middle school team, and I loved the entire summer. When they offered me another chance to get involved in the program, I jumped on board. So for summer 2013, I served as a National Expansion Coordinator. The middle school program had just gone national for the first time, which meant a lot of new logistics to sort out. I got to see space robots and have dinner with an astronaut. It was a good summer. But, unfortunately, the position is not year-roundâ€"I needed to find another job. That’s when a friend pointed me to a job at Akamai Technologies, Inc. It was perfect. It involved both coding and project management (from my Zero Robotics experience alone, you might imagine that I like both of these :)) on something with real-world impact. As it turned out, it also involved a fantastic team. I was lucky enough to get the position, and have been now working there for eight months. They’re sending me to the Grace Hopper Celebration in October, which I’m incredibly excited forâ€"and I’m giving a talk on plane crashes to one of our internal forums, which I’m nervously excited for! I can imagine being here for a good long time. :) I was a bit burnt out when I finished MIT (understatement of the year), so I decided to cure that with travel. I took my boyfriend (Nathan A. ‘13) to Los Angeles to visit family for a second time, visited a friend in Milwaukee (and drove to the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh), went to the IEEE Aerospace Conference in Montana (and presented a paper I was co-author on!), took a train to Philadelphia, took a plane to Chicago, and visited family in Baltimore. I did a lot of hiking, from Joshua Tree National Park to the Kettle Moraine State Forest to the Green Mountain National Forest. Between family, my boyfriend, my friends, and some solo trips, it was a fantastic way to decompress. Hopping all around the country turned out to be a super effective burnout recovery method. A year after I practically swore off academia, I enrolled in a Harvard class. Harvard has this awesome thing called the Extension Schoolâ€"anyone can take classes there, and if you do well enough in their classes you’re basically guaranteed admission into a program that grants a Harvard University diploma. It’s built to be part time, it’s right up the street (I tend to do better in physical world classes over online classes), and I hear that this liberal arts school has a reasonably challenging curriculum. ;) I’ve been toying around with earning my master’s thereâ€"we’ll see. :) That’s about it for my plans. Do as much as I can and learn as much as I can at Akamai, perhaps pursue a master’s concurrently. I have a pet project in aero/astro (based on my senior project) to work on, and some general fitness goals to attend to. And, well, enjoy life. It’s so much less stressful after MIT. :) So, advice time. To prefrosh: MIT, or wherever else you’ll likely end up, is bursting with opportunitiesâ€"some of which you can’t even imagine right now. Give yourself the freedom to do things you never expected to do. This includes making sure that you don’t overcommit and don’t let yourself get scared away; too many times I’ve seen people get stuck in what they think is safe (it might not be as safe as you think). Explore this place, figuratively and literally, in every way that calls to you. To new graduates: Congratulations. And if you’re in a spot like I wasâ€"no job and full of uncertaintyâ€"give it time. Tell your friends what sort of job you’re looking for. Go easy on yourself (read Desiderata like once a week). MIT is a fantastic place, but you don’t have to deal with that level of stress anymore. It’s time to see what opportunities the world will hold for youâ€"and as confusing as that sometimes will be, you can find it. :) Nathan A. ‘13,  Computer Science and Engineering (course 6-3) I’m currently finishing my MEng at [MIT-]Lincoln Laboratory, where I started as a summer intern about a year ago, just after graduating. They apparently liked my work and offered me a thesisand I had rolled a natural one for initiative the previous semester, so I really needed a project. Worked out great! For the five-year plan, a few months ago I finally convinced myself to not [yet] go for a PhD. I’ve always been hesitant about research, but for a while I had some kind of bizarre voice in my mind telling me that a PhD would be the most fun thing, because I love both learning and stress. I like to blame MIT for making me a masochist, but the reality of the matter is, when I was in high school, MIT sounded like the most fun thing for the same reasons. And I was right! It was the most fun thing! Because I still love both learning and stress. But the past year of thesis at Lincoln, while fun, has convinced me that research is indeed not for me in the long-term, even ignoring the obvious problems with politics in academia (which are thankfully not present at Lincoln, being an MIT research laboratory outside the influence of systems like tenure). My job hunt happened in the first quarter of 2014. After a rejection and a few offers, I decided that I’ll [also] be working at Akamai Technologies this coming fall, in the Mapping group. It’s not a startup-culture job where you’re expected to jump around within six months to a year; there’s a huge existing code base that needs maintenance and careful extensions. It takes six months to even get acclimated to a company like that, so I don’t see myself leaving any time soon: my five-year plan is to stay in Cambridge with my girlfriend, Melissa H. ‘13 (yes, the one right above me)! We’ve been officially living together for a year already and are apartment hunting. Of course, it may very well be within five years that we start looking to buy a house! She hates congested cities and enjoys driving, and the houses out in Salem are quite reasonably-priced for the area. I’m much less outgoing than Melissa, and am satisfied to do the interesting projects presented in my workplace while being wholly occupied with video games and manga outside of that (of course, she still forces me to be a bit more well-rounded). Hmmadvice. I’ve been told that I have a fairly unusual psyche, and I think that makes the advice I’d give myself from 5 years ago very different from advice that is appropriate for most MIT students. However, there is one sentiment that continues to be important for myself and many others I know: If you are coming to MIT, you have likely had vast opportunities to learn. You are similarly going to be surrounded by people who have had vast opportunities to learn. It is a great environment. It is easy to get used to. It’s important to remember throughout your time at MIT that most of the world hasn’t had such opportunities. If you forgetwellit becomes far too easy to become impatient with people; don’t. (I need to work on this, still.) Wennie W. ‘13, Materials Science and Engineering (course 3) I’ll be going to [starting fall 2013] grad school at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) in computational materials science for a PhD. I’ll mostly be working with simulations used to characterize and predict the structure and properties of new materials, most probably for electronic materials, and comparing computation with experimentation. I’ll be living in Goleta for the next five years or so, and hopefully be more motivated to exercise with such lovely weather everyday. My current overall plans are to go into academia since I like research and teaching; but who knows, I might decide to go to cooking school instead and open a restaurant. I guess my advice for any incoming freshman or prefrosh would be to experience failure at least once, even when you’ve put in effort, because you often learn much more in failure than in success. Alexandra W. ‘13,  Chemical-Biological Engineering (course 10-B) Next fall [2013] I will be pursuing a PhD in chemical engineering at Cornell. The MIT UROP experience was important to me so I’m really excited to be doing research for the next 4+ years. I’ll probably be working in RNA synthetic biology. I’m currently traveling in Europe with Emi (Emerald F. ‘13). We have been biking and taking the train. Just yesterday we took a ferry from Rome to Barcelona. Tomorrow we will start a ride from Barcelona to Andorra. Advice to prefrosh:  No matter what the upperclassmen say, take school seriously (even freshman year), it’s why you are here. Sweet Tea D. ‘13,  Chemistry (course 5) I’m happily married, and Gina (Georgina D. ‘14) and I are expecting our first child, named Kale, this coming January. [Update: their beautiful daughter Kale has been born!] I have a job as a software engineer at Permabit, which provides data deduplication solutions for enterprises, and expect to become a stay-at-home dad within the next few years. “Love the quick profit, the annual raise, vacation with pay. Want more of everything ready-made. Be afraid to know you neighbors and to die. “And you will have a window in your head. Not even your future will be a mystery any more. So, friends, every day do something that won’t compute.” â€"“Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front,” by Wendell Berry Do something that won’t compute every day. In it, you will find the true measure of life. Kaichen M. ‘13,  Computer Science and Engineering (course 6-3) Given that I’m immediately coming back to MIT in the next year [2013-2014] for my MEng, I guess it’s kind of hard to say if I have a five-year plan yet. Really, the only thing I’d advise prefrosh or frosh to do is find something they actually enjoy and are interested in, and learn everything about that thing. Because having the knowledge that you can do a thing, even a very specific thing like code a mean compiler, or something completely unrelated to MIT coursework like drawing or writing short stories or translating novelsâ€"that’s really helpful when you’re constantly urged to compare yourself against every other MIT student. Catherine O. ‘12, MEng ‘13, Computer Science and Engineering (course 6-3) and  Brain and Cognitive Sciences (course 9) I spent all four years of undergrad at Random, living on BMF and Black Hole and double majoring in 6-3 (Computer Science) and 9 (Brain Cognitive Science). During my M.Eng. I initially lived in an apartment in Cambridgeport, but after finding it both expensive and lonely I pledged a lovely co-op called pika (as mentioned these  entries). I graduated with both degrees this spring. In September [2013] I’ll be starting a five-year Ph.D. in neuroscience at NYU (specifically computational neuroscience, with a focus on vision) and living with a fellow Randomite in a tiny, weird apartment in Brooklyn. In the interim I’ve been riding trains across the country, going to art festivals and hacker conferences, being an experimental subject in brain scan studies for fun and profit, programming (my current project is a visual illusion to display in LEDs on a geodesic dome), reading neuroscience papers, making enormous quantities of food, and reading books that unravel the structure and chaos o f the human experience. The next five years will contain a lot more of the same, though in different proportions and ideally with more scientifically-relevant output. Whatever your college decision comes down to, think about whether each place gives you room to grow in the directions you want to grow. It’s easy to choose a place that feels comfortable now, but ask yourselfâ€"will I outgrow this place, or grow into it? All colleges boast of limitless opportunities, but those opportunities unfold in different directions to varying degrees of depth and richness. The question is what matters to you. Think about all the academic areas that fascinate you, even the ones you don’t think you’ll major in but which you can envision might play a role in your education. What sort of depth does this place offer in those academic areas? Think also about the social environmentâ€"student life is not the same at every college, or between subcultures within an institution. Are there communities here who will embrace all aspects of who you are, or will you need to tone down part of your personality or interests to fit in here? Do you admire these people? Are th ey the sort of people you’d like to be more like? I was torn between MIT and a more comfortable-feeling alternative; choosing to go to MIT has made all the difference. I am perhaps a little more strange, but I am certainly more confident. I put more value on the importance of taking risks, being vulnerable, and making mistakes than I did before. I have more liberal ideas about relationships. I certainly never ran out of classes to take in the areas I love most; for virtually every facet of my many academic fascinations, there is a professor at MIT doing research in that specific sub-field, which would not have been true at other colleges on my list. At other places I may have concealed my love for academics to seem less nerdy, or dulled my outgoing energy to seem less bossy, but MIT has encouraged me to be as unabashedly academic and as energetic as I ever was. Within these walls it is safe to be in love with the universe and the mystery it holds. It hasn’t always been comfortable, but I have grown and changed enormously, and I ha ve many great stories to tell. Any of the options available to you will open up vast possibilities for you, though each choice will open up a different set of possibilities. In Finite and Infinite Games (a book which I just finished reading and highly recommend), James P. Carse writes, “If we cannot tell a story about what happened to us, nothing has happened to us.” What stories do you envision yourself telling about your time at each of the colleges you are considering? Which story would you like to tell? Jayson L. ‘13, Physics (course 8) and Computer Science and Engineering (course 6-3) I’ll be back at MIT in the fall [2013] perusing a PhD in Theoretical Computer Science. I plan to work with Erik Demaine and I’ll be living in an apartment above Tosci’s with some Random and EC alums. I’m not feeling super excited about anything right now but will hopefully do some fun research, write some games, meet more awesome people, and travel interesting places. I’m around MIT this summer doing patent consulting for IPX and plan to do MISTI-India next summer. Delong M. ‘13, Mathematics (course 18) I’m doing a Ph.D. at Stanford Economics. I plan to work in academia afterwards. Advice for freshman: economics might be more amazing than you think. 14.01 and 14.02 might be a bit dry, but the upper level courses are much more interesting and better taught. John B. ‘13, Mathematics (course 18) After graduating in December, I used the past semester [spring 2013] to work on a farm, meet new people, and spend some time traveling at home and abroad. I was also looking for a home for the next five years as I pursue my PhD in mathematics. I have settled on the University of Virginia and look forward to moving there, settling into a slower pace of life in Charlottesville, and getting back to work after my semester-long hiatus. If one or two issues are especially important to you when choosing a school, try not to let them overwhelm your decision. Step back and look at the big picture. Have fun. Alexandra S. ‘13, Materials Science and Engineering (course 3) I am writing this story for Miss Lydia from my new apartment in Seattle. Friday will be my first day at Boeing, working as a Chemical and Contamination Engineer. I’m not 100% sure what I’ll be doing yet, but when I find out I don’t think I can talk about it anyway. (I’m transitioning to a life where I don’t talk about work. Weird.) It’s fun and exciting, but also ~3,300 miles from home, and ~2,800 miles from a fellow ‘13 grad who I’m particularly fond of. Sigh. Boeing has a lot of awesome projects for any engineer, especially since I get to break things (for SCIENCE. I hope. I don’t want to break things that weren’t supposed to be broken). I will be working for their RD branch which supports the Commercial Aircraft and Military and Defense branches. In the near future, I’m planning on doing some hard work and really earning the salary that Boeing has promised. I want to explore Seattle and make frequent trips to my friends back in the Boston area. Hopefully I’ll geographically reunite with a certain someone and make smaller, chubbier versions of ourselves. I hope he doesn’t kill me for this. Short Advice: You’ve got a mind AND a body. Act like it. Go to sleep. Update: I got engaged to Chad B.! We are going to make smaller, chubbier versions of ourselves! After 5 months of working in Seattle, I got to transfer to Boeing’s Philadelphia site so now we live close to one another! And I get to make helicopters for a living. We’re super excited to be married in 8 months. It’s all hugs and happiness over here. Allan M. ‘13, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (course 6-2) Currently I am employed at Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan (outside of Detroit). At present I am working on signal processing and voice recognition, and am part of a program that will rotate me between different engineering jobs every six months. I’m excited to help bring new technologies and features into our cars. I would advise freshmen to make a solid group of friends that you can have fun with, support, and be supported by. A friendly face can make the difference between a good day and a terrible one. Your fellow MIT students are generally nice people, so don’t be afraid to risk introducing yourself. Joshua O. ‘13, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (course 6-2) I’ll be starting work in August [2013] as a software engineer at Hudson River Trading, a financial firm in New York City. I recently acquired an apartment in Brooklyn (moving is exhausting!) and will be living within a mile of at least four people I know from MIT, which promises to be pretty darned awesome. When I’m not working, I’ll be flying (got my private pilot’s license in summer 2011), exploring New York, and generally adventuring. Becoming a Real PersonTM without the structure of college to rely on is an intimidating prospect and an exciting opportunity at the same timeâ€"just like every major life change, I think. I think the best advice I can offer is twofold. First, despite your shiny new status of legal adulthood, your lives-goals-desires-hopes-dreams are going to be in a lot of flux. Your college years will be transformative no matter what you do with them, and it’s worth putting some thought and effort into making them transformative in ways you want to be transformed. When you’re making choices that will impact your futureâ€"where you want to go to school, where you want to live when you get there, what to major in, what student groups and other communities to get involved inâ€"the quality of fit with who you want to become matters much more than that with who you are now. In other words, you will grow into your choices, so it’s worth pushing your comfort zone a bit (or a lot!) when making them. Second, go read 50 Things. Now. We’ll wait. Andrew F. ‘13,  Computer Science and Engineering (course 6-3) Right now I’m working for MassChallenge, which is a meta-start-upâ€"that is to say, it’s a start-up acceleratorâ€"down in Boston. We run a contest every year where founders from all over the world can apply, write up their business plan, and get feedback from volunteers from the business community. The good ones come in for in-person or Skype interviews and of those, we take 128 of the most high-impact teams and they spend the summer in our space and we hook them up with all kinds of resources and classes and connections. I’m writing software for the accelerator itself, helping match up teams with mentors and other resources so they can get their companies off the ground. It is actually kind of like working for a dating site. What is really cool is I get to meet all of these companies from all different industriesâ€"non-profits, tech companies, clean energy, you name it. I’ve got friends that have started companies in prior years that went through MassChallenge (Ksplice, Mini stry of Supply) and they’ve talked about how helpful the experience was for them. I’ve also been getting back into dancing. I started going back to contra dances at the start of the year. I took the contra dance class freshman year because I was filling out the phys ed lottery and for my last choice I picked contra dancing. I figured why not? Maybe I’ll learn some Central American politics. It turns out contra is actually from New England, but I really enjoyed it and I then completely forgot about it. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to become a more musical person, so I’ve been learning Irish folk songs and going to dances and I started reading about music theory. I just bought an accordion from a yard sale that I’m going to fix up and then play. Advice to pre-frosh and incoming freshmen? Don’t stay in a relationship that is giving you more stress than comfort, even if you still love the other person. Even if breaking up causes both of you pain, It is not saying your lover is bad person but rather that you don’t want either of you living in an unhealthy relationship. Sleep is important. Get sleep. Buy a foam mattress pad. It makes the Institute mattresses a lot more comfortable. Buy a steamer. You can make almost anythingâ€"soup, pasta, hardboiled eggs, rice. It is cheap, nutritious, and you don’t have to worry about burning down the kitchen when you get distracted reading reddit. Stay off reddit. There are going to be lots of amazing opportunities thrown at you. Get good at saying no. Pick a few things and say yes to them. Half of your education will be outside of classes. There are going to be a lot of people who want to help you and mentor you. Take advantage of this and build relationships with them. Empathy and good communication habits are tremendously important for a scientist and engineer. Make a point to practice them. Also, If I can recommend reading things: Cal Newport’s books, Difficult Conversations, Dr. Nerdlove’s blog, and Captain Awkward’s blog. Update: Tiffany Z. ‘13,  Biology (course 7) Advice you (aka the frosh) probably won’t listen to but here have it anyways: Don’t be afraid to change your (life)plan. Whether it’s your major or your career, you’re young. You have time to make decisions and then change your mind if need be. Don’t stay stuck in something you don’t enjoy just because the thought of change is scary. Ask for help. It’s amazing how many resources are available for MIT students. Use them. You don’t have to shoulder all of your burdens yourself. My post-mit life: Currently [2013]: looking for a job. (But I don’t know what I want to do. So yes, problem.) Fifteen-year plan: own a bakery/cafe in California. What MIT gave me: a diverse environment surrounded by intelligent people with differing opinions and life experiences, time to explore outside interests not pertaining to my major (education policy! the civil war! museum exhibits!), lifelong friends. Chad B. ‘13,  Nuclear Science and Engineering (course 22) I’m one of only nine graduates from the nuclear department at MIT, a subject matter which I like very much since it’s the intersection of mechanical engineering and physics. I’m working for Exelon as a BWR core designer now which I am quite excited about, that’s about as direct an application of my studies as possible. I plan on staying with Exelon for a while and making a rapid climb of the corporate ladder. Maybe I’ll do a master’s on the side to check my pulse? In my free time I try to stay in shape, tinker with some robotics stuff, and pwn n00bs online. It’s a different life in the real world, but orders of magnitude easier than MIT. Sometimes I miss MIT, but then I remember how grueling it was and laugh at the prospect. I also dedicate a nontrival amount of time cultivating a long-distance relationship which I think is the best thing MIT has given me by far. Smart girls are the best. Good luck to all you freshman; you’ll need it. Also something immensely frustrating about non-MIT students/graduates: they are terrible at understanding clever puns. Oh well, I’ll just have to keep making them until everyone is indoctrinated with the humor style. Harriet L. ‘13, Aerospace Engineering  (course 16) I decided to stay here at MIT to pursue a MS, and hopefully a PhD, if I pass quals. There will be lots of math involved, probably having to do with “multiphysics” or “optimization” or some other giggly big word. Shiny bubbles. I’ve never really been able to conceptualize the future beyond a week or so, and thus I have no plans for the future, just to chase whatever shinies I find next. Perhaps I stayed here because nowhere else did people seem to not question my decision to pursue Aerospace Engineering because of my love of dragons. Emi F.-Y. ‘13, Mechanical Engineering  (course 2) The day after commencement, I left for a two-month biking Eurotrip with my best friend from college, Alex. When I got back I was planning on staying and working in the Boston area for a while, but with one week to go before commencement and no job and no apartment for the fall, I decided to move back home to Oakland, CA, with my parents. Since getting back, I’ve been looking for a job in the Bay Area [2013]. I’d like to work on developing renewable energy technologies, but right now I’ll take any job that seems like I will enjoy it. Not having a job kind of sucks. I feel super behind compared to everyone in my class, and lame for living with my parents. On the other hand, this is a situation a lot of college grads find themselves in, even at MIT, and it doesn’t mean I’ll never ever find a job. So I’m looking at the bright side of things, which is that I get to spend some time relaxing, sleeping in, and spending time with my family who I’ve missed hella much (yes, I’m from the Bay Area and I say “hella” unironically :P ). I came in to MIT as an idealistic freshman wanting to save the world. During my first year at MIT, I learned more about what I actually could do to make the world a better place and decided to focus my interests in renewable energy. After that first year I began to forget why I traveled across the country to get a top-notch education. I came because MIT is one of the best places in the world to make connections and become the sort of innovative person that really does make a difference. Seeing all my software friends get super fun, high-paying jobs at shiny companies with awesome offices made me want that sort of thing too. So I graduated sort of lost; torn between the ideal of wanting to make a difference and the other ideal of a nice life. It seems that, at least among my social circles, there was a mentality of “make it through school so that you could get a job, make money, and live the upper-middle class dream” or something. And it makes me sad that there isn’t more of a push to do something good for the world. So I guess my advice to you is that you have one of the best, brightest minds in the world. Use it to do something meaningful. And also, take time every once in a while to step back and remind yourself of what you think is important instead of getting caught up in all the cool things your friends are doing. Matt R. ‘13, Mathematics with Computer Science  (course 18-C) After graduating from MIT I ended up in Iceland of all placesâ€"I decided that I was going to stay in an Airbnb listing (a lovely modern apartment in Reykjavik) to get a better sense for the experience before I started my job as a Data Infrastructure engineer at Airbnb. So that was coolâ€"Iceland is basically a HUGE country with nothing but rock formations and volcanic/geological awesomeness for MILES and MILESâ€"I drove something like five hours between tiny towns, but now I know how to pronounce Eyjafjallajokull (and yes, I typed that without Googling! :D ) After that, I managed to convince Alex W. and Emi to let me join them on their epic touring adventureâ€"we spent a few weeks together in the Loire river valley in France, with me putzing along on an awkward steel behemoth at “pokey” speeds, according to Emi. I moved into my parent’s spare room while I started to find workâ€"I’ve contributed to the open source projects Mesos, Marathon, and Chronos, which are projects designed to make running software on a cluster as easy as setting up an operating system, running upstart, and running cron, respectively. I’ve also had a chance to work with data scientists doing what I loveâ€"experiments on real world data sets. Being a software engineer in the real world is actually way way easier than being a computer science major MIT (n.b. I was not actually ever Course VI, so maybe that’s why I found it tough). I’ve moved back to my home state, and am working fairly close to my old home. I’m going to move into a two-story town house on the tippy top of Potrero Hill in November, with some awesome roommates (one of them is a baker! I’m looking forward to the smell of delicious baked goods). I’m riding my bike more than ever, and am hoping to join a competitive team in the near future for next season. It’s nice to be back home. Daniel G. ‘13, Mathematics with Computer Science  (course 18-C) I’m still in the Boston area for the foreseeable future. I’m working as a software engineer at Oracle. Some advice to incoming freshmen: MIT is awesome, and there is so much more to it than classes. I believe that it is almost always worth it to take fewer classes so that you have more time for clubs, sports, friends, and relaxing. And of course sleep. Support other people (not just your friends) when they need help, and don’t hesitate to ask for help yourself, whether it’s classes, relationships, future plans, or anything else that is bothering you. MIT is at its best when students are kind, empathetic, helpful, and understanding. Do what you can to contribute to that culture. Have fun at MIT! There will definitely be times when you will be hosed and stressed, but there are so many fantastic and yes, fun things to do here. Take breaks from working and studying to take part in other things that you enjoy! Hannah H. ‘13, Computer Science and Engineering  (course 6-3) Currently, I am looking for a software engineering job in the video game or movie industry. I love coding, but I have always had a soft spot for creative work as well. I also have a huge passion for games. In between looking for jobs I am currently working on a science fiction novel, a mobile/casual game, and doing rock climbing and kickboxing. Do not let fear rule you. Do not be afraid to apply for an internship or a UROP. Do not be afraid to ask questions in class. Do not avoid trying new things because you are afraid you won’t be able to handle them. I can tell you, that you can do ANYTHING you set your mind to. ANYTHING. I know that sounds cliche, but really believing in yourself and your abilities, especially your ability to learn and adapt, will lead you to your dreams, whatever those are. Devin A. ‘13, Mathematics  (course 18) This spring, I started hiking the Appalachian Trail, so that’s where I’ll be for a while. The trail runs around 2200 miles from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Khatadin in Maine. After I get back, I’m planning on looking for a job in finance. As you’re figuring out what to do, I think it’s worth stealing a saying from the trail: hike your own hike. There are all sorts of ways to get from one point to another and what works for someone else may not be right for you. Here are two of the many beautiful photos Devin has taken so far: The Past I also asked the graduating Randomites to tell me an interesting story from their time at MIT. Here is what they shared: Catherine O. Delong M. I remember John B. ‘13 and I used to take these walks in the Blue Hills. We were trying to take a step back from the hectic lifestyle of MIT and think about life in general. In the woods we would still be talking about category theory and differential forms, but we would also talk about how we miss the southern hospitality (he’s from North Carolina, I’m from Louisiana). We both wanted a quiet lifestyle. I remember John said, “If I live in the woods, then when I wake up in the morning, instead of asking math questions, I would say, ‘Look at this tree. How interesting are its patterns.’” After all, mathematicians study patterns, and nature is full of patterns. At MIT, I invested a lot of time in my spiritual world. I went to the Baptist Student Fellowship every week. It was a pretty conservative Christian group on campus. People might wonder, how could you both believe in science and follow conservative Christianity? I think the cool part of MIT is that I get to discuss questions and doubts about my faith with other like-minded MIT kids, in an intellectual manner. For example, we would talk about how free will and pre-destination could both exist if we remove the constraint that we are bounded by time. It opened my eyes to a world of logical and rational discussion of faith. I also like to engage in conversations with people from other faith backgrounds as well as atheists. It’s cool to learn how people think about their spiritual pursuits. MIT has done a really good job in allowing different worldviews to thrive on campus. Every year the Veritas Forum provides an open discussion between different worldviews and faiths from MIT professor s. I think it is a helpful way to engage MIT students interested in the discussion of science, life, and faith. In my freshman year, Pecker was known for its concentration of former IMO kids and ridiculous math people. If I get stuck on a commutative algebra pset problem, Pecker would be the place to seek help. However, in my junior years somehow Pecker mysteriously lost its math crowd and never got them back (the current trend seems to suggest that Third West and Simmons are the new hubs of math kids). Last year Pecker was mostly cs and bio majors, and on the bright side the new freshmen made the floor much more diverse and alive. Our new GRT is also really nice and spends a lot of time bonding with us. Nathan A. So, there I was, Jack Hagerthorp, 7th year, deep inside a Muggle vault. Apparating in was no problem for the New Wizarding Order; with representatives from all the Houses, who in Hogwarts would be able to stop us from leaving? But if we were to take control of the Muggle economy, we knew the fun had only just begun. Pulling the ritual and resources from our Bag of Holding, we got to work as quickly as possible. We knew we could have taken the Muggle guards this early if we had to, but it would’ve eaten up too much of our time. We had to be efficient, or the news would spread far enough that the Ministry may catch on before we finished. Even Muggles had fairly fast communication capabilities, or so we had heard. Beginning the ritual, everything had to be aligned and spoken just right. We had practiced the ritual before, but you can never know how it will turn out for sure until you’re really pouring your magic into it. As we spoke the last word, the walls began to warp. It was initially dizzying, but our elation quickly overrode that when we looked at the expanse in front of usâ€"it had worked! All of the gold vaults in Europe were now but one room, and inside of it, Muggle Europe’s future rulers. All the gold owned by all governments and individuals was right here! We immediately heard running, and came to our senses; even if the mystical forces we had tapped into that night were beyond the guards’ comprehension, we expected them to notice when the fundamental properties of the vault they were guarding changed. Two of our order stayed behind to funnel gold into our Bagâ€"it was incredibly heavy, and only an advanced spell called Leviosa Magnus could even lift the sheetsâ€"and the remaining five of us (we were usually six, but a trustworthy Ravenclaw had sought an adventure that day) went to the door to prepare for battle. Our half-Veela had already taken the chance to ferry one load of gold back to Gringotts, for the Goblins do not question money, and had begun scooping up a second load when the Muggles finally opened their vault door. At this point, we were a bit taken aback. This was not by the strange, enormous, metal wands (which we later found out were called “guns”) the Muggles used to fire sharp metal at us at high speeds, but by the sheer number we saw. They were organized into small battalions, spread out presumably so as not to get in the other groups’ lines of fire. As we glanced at their varied insignia, we realized that not only had the vaults themselves united, but the entire facilities, be they national banks or forts. Our shields could hold the line for some time despite the unfamiliar metal hurtling towards us, but clearly not long enough. I asked my comrades to stand off a bit and act as backup. I saw a couple smirk, as they all did so. I immediately assumed my recently-acquired formâ€"for I had just completed my ritual the previous nightâ€"and before the Muggles stood a jet-black dragon, towering over them, snarling. I stepped through our shields, and immediately began clawing the guards aside. Many were unconscious in seconds, but there were so many of them, and even my scales were slowly being chipped away by the metal zooming by. I sent a wave of fire at the ceiling, and we temporarily retreated back into the vault. That was when a Hufflepuff, Zacharias, normally terrified at the idea of a battle, showed his real ingenuity, the reason he was on this team. He was able to use a ground manipulation spell, normally a trite matter worthy only of ritual manipulation, to form a thick wall of earth in the doorframe. It took a lot of magic out of him, so he could only perform this feat every two minutes or so, but it was e nough. While a wizard would have simply used an equivalent spell to crumble the wall, the bullets took long enough to break through for us to recuperate and prepare to fight them in waves. At this point, our Slytherin, that Millicent, spoke up. “Can’t you just let me kill them all?!” It was true that she had recently learned Avada Kedavra, the most powerful death magic. But it wasn’t just that we needed her to save that magic for the real enemies, the Death Eatersâ€"I genuinely wasn’t going to betray the name of the House I had been placed in upon my transfer to Hogwarts this past year. I transformed back into my human form. I left my eyes and teeth in dragon formâ€"I certainly enjoyed being showy; must’ve gotten that from being Lockhart’s illegitimate sonâ€"and hissed, “NO ONE. No one dies today. We can handle this without any forbidden magic!” I do wonder if that House made me soft. Some people think I was being a hypocrite, because here I was, stealing Muggle gold, but I just had to keep my principles about me. As the wall crumbled and the Muggles began trying to storm the vault, I quickly transformed back and shoved them through the wall as the others blasted stunning spells by the dozens. The battle continued on like that for some time, the Muggles storming us and Zacharias making a new wall, but just as I thought my strength would give out, I heard, “That’s the last load! Everyone get to the portkey!” The vault and the Muggles warped out from around us. I knew I’d have an interesting article to read tomorrow, but even with so many witnesses, who knows what Muggles will be able to believe? Only our half-Veela was old enough for a Gringotts account, so we left the vast majority of the money with himâ€"he could’ve abandoned us in the vault on any one of his trips to Gringotts, so a lack of trust now would’ve been sillyâ€"but we each took one sheet of gold for the road as spending money to do what we wished. I immediately asked Gringotts to smelt mine into Galleons, at a small loss. Goblins truly do not question money. I returned in a few days. The Wizarding world was beginning to calm down, because, hey, it had only been a Muggle incident, and the Ministry was fast in their necessary Obliviations. I provided my proof of identity, collected my gold in my own bag, and returned to Hogwarts. When I stepped into my room in Gryffindor Tower, I felt positively giddy. All that worry for the last few days, for nothing! Of course, half the school already knew of our exploits by now, but most didn’t seem to mindâ€"the Muggle-borns had already been exiled from Magical Britain, with You-Know-Who not so secretly manipulating the government. As such, most of them were just interested in hearing about these Muggle “guns.” Some probably didn’t even believe us, though by now, Zacharias had already fled the school in fear. I walked confidently over to my bed, transformed, and burned it to a crispâ€"by now, absolutely everyone in the school knew about my animagus form, because how could I get famous by hiding things? McGonagall had even helped me apply for a permit! Regardless, a few students looked at me like I was nuts, as I poured my mass of galleons onto the ashes. It had been a fun adventure, but until the rest of the New Wizarding Order came of age, it was time to relax. I opened my wings, yawned, and splayed myself over my new, enormous bed of gold. It was the most restful sleep I had ever experienced. And when Jack Hagerthorp, dragon animagus, woke up every morning for the final five months of his school career, not a single Galleon had ever been stolen from his bed. Alexandra S. Fun Story (to me at least): It’s July. My mom’s birthday is on Independence Day so it’s always been doubly special to me. Last summer I didn’t have the luxury of spending it with her, but I did get to spend it in northern Portugal, working in the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (breathe). So not too bad, right? I was with six other MIT students who were all jonesing for a patriotic day in a country that naturally didn’t bat an eye. We joined up with an American post-doc and decided to go out to dinner. We were going to go to an Italian restaurant near us, but decided to branch out. Long story short, we left one end of town on foot for the other end of town, and by the time we got there everywhere was closed. We arrived at an Italian restaurant that was shutting its doorsâ€"the sister of the one where we were first going to eat. The owners were nice enough to drive us back to the first restaurant, which was still open. So there we were, seven Americans in the back of a catering van driv ing around Portugal on the Fourth of July. Plus that one kid who got the passenger seat. I wouldn’t advise getting into the back of a van in the middle of a country with a loose-is-generous grasp of the language (or anywhere really), but it just goes to show, you never know where you’ll be spending the holidays. Have fun in college. Allan M. There is almost a constant stream of interesting speakers that come to MIT. During my time at MIT I have heard President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg give inspiring speeches on campus. There is also a stream of less well known speakers who give guest lectures on any number of interesting topics. I would advise freshmen to pay attention to posters hanging in the hallway, as you will find some pretty cool events. Wennie W. In a few weeks, I’ll be packing my bags and moving for grad school in California. It’s an exciting timeâ€"new places, new people, new experiencesâ€"but it’s also pretty daunting, something that I imagine is a similar feeling for those just starting college. I remember being so excited about coming to MIT and the fantastic opportunities outside the classroom that I couldn’t sleep properly the few days prior. And yes, I did get to join cool student groups and take awesome classes taught by awesome people; it has been a great four years (both the good and bad days). Throughout these years there has been one of my best friends who went to the university down Mass. Ave. We’ve known each other since middle school, were debate partners, sat next to each other in physics class, and everything. And every few weeks or so, we’d meet at Cinderella’s down the street, eat one of the same three pizzas with the same orange-mango juice, and just talk, whether it be the good, the bad, or the awkward. Looking back, those were some of the most memorable moments I’ve had in college. Although we’ll be miles away when we each move to our respective grad schools, we still keep in touch every so often. The lesson I learned was this: The next few years are going to be excitingâ€"there’s so much cool stuff to do and not enough time to do them. Yes, make the most of it, explore things you never thought about, and don’t be afraid to fail but don’t forget there’s more out there than MIT and keep things in perspective. Joshua O. I came to MIT as an extremely academically motivated and, in a lot of ways, extremely clueless young froshling. During my freshman spring, the prodding of a junior on my hall had me registering for 6.035, an upper-level compilers class that involved a truly inordinate amount of programming. That and five other classes. (I’ll pause now for the upperclassmen in the audience to start grinning knowingly.) This was, as we like to say around here, a Poor Life Choice. It didn’t seem like it at the time, even a month into term when I was not infrequently up till past dawn finishing assignments. I’d been in computers since not that long after I was out of diapers, so I was able to stay afloat despite my overzealous schedule. I had precious little social time or downtime, but I was busy with work that I loved, so it was okay, right? Term continued. The projects got larger, and my team got smallerâ€"one of its three members became increasingly nonresponsive and finally dropped the class right before the final project. As deadlines approached, my schedule converged on the ridiculous: stay up until 7am fixing bugs, eat breakfast, sleep through my classes, wake up in the late afternoon and jump back onto the coding horse, repeat as needed. Then the darned thing would finally work, and the exhilaration of that success would give me the energy to keep going. A hallmate would wander into my room to say hi and I’d jump about three feet in the air when I noticed their presence. It was wonderful and it wasn’t. I was happy, engaged, thrilled, when I had an interesting problem in front of me. I couldn’t believe I was getting to devote my academic efforts to something I found so awesome. But after I’d turned in a milestone and scrambled to the top of my to-do list, I’d tend more towards listless, lonely, confused. I was keeping myself busy, but I didn’t really feel like I was Doing It Right. There isn’t one climax or turning point here, and it wasn’t as black-and-white as the above probably makes it seem; I had close friends, with whom I had fulfilling interactions on a semi-regular basis, and during less crunch-time-y periods I did community service with APO and sang with the Asymptones (billed as the a cappella group for people who didn’t have enough time for an a cappella group). I’m actually surprised, looking back on the blog posts and chat logs from that portion of my life, how normal/sane I seem to myself. But my priorities were still out of whack, and I think that shifting them a bit has been very good for me. Being an academic powerhouse isn’t everything, no matter where you go to school. Be conscientious, learn something, of courseâ€"but create experiences, form bonds, as well. Celebrate the ways in which the universe you live in is frickin’ awesome, and make it moreso. I hope you have the time of your life. Hannah H. Here is Random Hall’s i3 video from spring 2009, the school year most of the 2013 graduates got into MIT and I was just starting to think about applying: Here is Random Hall’s i3 video from spring 2013, the semester they graduated: By now the new freshmen are sophomores and the new new freshmen will soon arrive on campus. Four years, give or take, come full circle. My charge to the MIT ‘17s and ‘18s, and to the rest of you, is to be even more imaginative, heartfelt, tough, fearless, and playful than the class of 2013.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Is Physician-Assisted Suicide Morally Right - Free Essay Example

Sample details Pages: 5 Words: 1410 Downloads: 3 Date added: 2019/05/31 Category Law Essay Level High school Tags: Assisted Suicide Essay Did you like this example? When you think about a topic with many opinions and views, Physician-Assisted Suicide comes to mind. Physician-assisted suicide is a controversial topic in ethics. Many people are arguing if it ethical unethical. Don’t waste time! Our writers will create an original "Is Physician-Assisted Suicide Morally Right?" essay for you Create order The purpose of arguing is thus, if an animal can be killed, why not human. Every being is important, no matter the ill condition. However, It is far better the government to channel the resource to something positive rather than looking for a way to terminate life. If people are arguing whether the lives of these patients is important, the patients should also be consulted as well. Physician-assisted suicide will persuade the terminally ill patients to die faster because is less expensive and because they may lack self-confidence. People that want physician-assisted suicide legalized, probably they never consider the consequences associated with the procedure. If assisted suicide was legal fifty years ago, we wouldnt have some of the advancements in medicine that alleviate pain, diabetes, breathlessness, and other terminal illness today. As a result of improved medical advancement, today Some diseases that were terminal a few years ago are now treated. If we consider assisted suicide as the only solution, we might interrupt or even stop the discovery of effective treatments for those diseases that are now terminal. There would be a disregard for hope. There is no physician that has not come across a patient that was healed by divine intervention. The level of persuasion the patient would feel would be extensive. Families have many intent ways of persuading the patient to demand assisted suicide and alleviate them of the financial and social involvement even if their families are happy to take care of them. For many, this is just another way to terminate the guilt they feel, even if they dont wish to die. The money which they incur from patients in obtaining medical and the hospital bills would stop. Furthermore, physician-assisted suicide is not only illegal but also it is immoral and inhuman for physicians to implement. Any physician that does this immoral act has violated the ethics of their profession. A physician supposed to be an advocator and helper that helps save the lives of patients and not help end the patients lives. Also, such physician that does this, has violated Hippocratic Oath, which is the oath sworn by the doctors prior to receiving his license. The Oat states that , I will not give poison to anyone, though asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a plan?. This means that no doctor should request or administer any lethal injection or medication to the patients. But unfortunately, today so many physicians do not go by the oath they took. According to statistics, 1 out of 5 doctors and nurses have supported the patient to terminate their life in America. There is no meaning in taking an oat if no one will go by the oat. The organization responsible for the oat t aking should also place several penalties to defaulters of the oat of Hippocrates or probably the license should be revoked or suspended. Physician-assisted suicide is unethical and not a natural form of death. The severity of an illness or depression sometimes arises as a result of the thoughts and feelings of the suicide. One thing we should know is that pains are natural. Despite it is natural, there are ways to take away pains that comes with death. There are many medications that can help alleviate pains and help sustain the lives of these patients who are terminally ill. For example, opioid (morphine), has been proven to provide effective pain control to most patients with severe pains. The Patient Controlled Analgesia (PCA) is a major technological advance in pain control. With PCA, there is a constant supply of medications which allows a patient to administer doses when there is an emergency. Also, there is one that can administer to a patient to make him sleep all through the night. With proper healthcare education on the advancement of these pain control, physician-assisted suicide would not be necessary. Th e role of adequate pain control should remain an important duty in providing end-of-life palliative care to terminally ill patients. There should be a collaborative relationship between pain medicine service and palliative care services. With this, there has been found be commonness of pain in cancer survivors of 33 percent, in cancer patients undergoing active treatment of 59 percent, and across all stages of cancer of 53 percent. (Meier and Brawley 2011, 2750). The truth about physician-assisted suicide is that it is a form of murder and unethical. It should be against the law and the heart. This got to do with medicine and morality. If the doctors are licensed to kill or become killers, then the profession will never be trusted, and people with a good moral background would be discouraged from entering the profession. If also, the doctors were given equal right to cure and kill, then the profession would be regarded as an immoral profession. This type of murder underestimates human value. The physicians involved in the act are now regarded as gods who can determine life or death for mankind. Their jobs are to cure and save the lives of their patients, and not god. They should understand that what the patients under them need is care, respect, and absolute love of people around them. Furthermore, those in support of physician-assisted suicide may think that they are taking the right decision in ending their patients life because they are terminally ill. They may think they are ending their suffering and not their gifts and dreams There is an argument by people in favor of this procedure. They argue that if the patient and the family agree, then there is no harm in caring out the patients wish. Though the terminally ill patient might not capable of making a rational decision, the truth still remains that no one even the family member has can assume a choice for an incompetent person without a consent from the patient. Why on earth would one think of ending another persons life? Life and death should not be placed in the hands of the another. The act of dying is determined by nature. Therefore, people should allow nature to take its place. If in any case, a patient is making a decision, he needs to consider the mental and physical aspect of death. If physician-assi sted suicide is considered ethical, it will expose our nation to a frequent untimely death. Some people regard physician-assisted suicide as a compassionate mean of ending pains in terminally ill patients. No matter how they see it, it is murder and is never morally justified. It is considered as killing with an intention. People are trying to make a sound as being medically compassionate and acceptable. Human life is never something to determine whether to continue or not. It can never be measured by the condition. People think and speak as though human life is like a building you can decide whether to demolish it or not. Again, legalizing it can lead to other people deciding whether someone to live or not. For example, if an aged woman has a stroke or tumor and cannot talk or stand, their family member could as well consider physician-assisted suicide because they dont want to face the stressor, they want to give her mercy death. Incredible! Physicians should sort out new ways to cure their patients instead of killing. In conclusion, physician-assisted suicide is unethical and immoral. It should never be allowed or legalized. It is potentially giving lethal medication to the body and may be done by a doctor. The same doctor that is licensed to cure the body of illness is also involved in murder and killing. It is time for doctors to identify their moral and go by the ethics of their profession. They should consider human life and health as their topmost priority. With this, the world will realize that life is so precious and worth more important than mere emphasis. Work Cited: Doctor-assisted suicide should not be legalized (, December 2018) accessed 13 December 2018 Palliative care and the quality of life. Meier DE, Brawley OWJ Clin Oncol. 2011 Jul 10; 29(20):2750-2. Jun 13, 2011 2011 Jul 10; 29(20): 2750â€Å"2752. Otis W. Brawley 2011 by important new American Society of Clinical Oncology and most patients receive hospice care in their own Administrative support: Diane E. Meier 17. van den Beuken-van Everdeen MH, de Rinke JM, Kessels AG, et al.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Africa Shaped By Technology And Atmosphere Before The 1800s

Africa Shaped by Technology and Atmosphere Before the 1800s Hieroglyphs can be considered one of the oldest forms of literature; Egyptians developed this technology at around 4,000 BC. Reasons for creating hieroglyphs are art, and communication (Mattessich). Parallel to that, farming was another type of technology that was being developed along the north of Africa and the river Nile, by the upcoming kingdom of Africa. Nubia (modern day Sudan) also gave rise to another kind of technology in term of agriculture, the cattle herding, their location made it easy to feed animals because it was tropical and had lots of vegetation. Hunter gathers were living since the beginnings of times, so this is not a new developed technology but it is significant to say that the rest of Africa was occupied by them (Britton). By 1,500 BC the Egyptian empire was the leading power over Mesopotamia, Syrian and Canaan. Around this time somewhere in north Africa, sub-Saharan or the highlands of Ethiopia the domestication of sorghum and millet occurred, giving a boost in the agricultural aspect and helping societies being more settle (Zohary and Hopf), millet is thought to be brought from east Asia through land, since it was it has been cultivated there since 8,000 BC years (Lu, Zhang and Liu). This is a crucial event because sorghum and millet are harder to farm that wheat and barley. Since Africa never had an established continental â€Å"Bronze era† it is generally said that they jumped from Stone AgeShow MoreRelatedOne Significant Change That Has Occurred in the World Between 1900 and 2005. Explain the Impact This Change Has Made on Our Lives and Why It Is an Important Change.163893 Words   |  656 Pagesvery coherent unit. The beginnings and ends of what we choose to call centuries are almost invariably years of little significance. 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Both co-supervisors provided me excellent atmosphere and friendly academic guidance that saw me through in my research and academic work from 1987-1991. Besides, many other academics contributed to the success of my PhD programme. They include Dr. Karen Dvorak, Professor Y. L. Fabiyi, 5 ProfessorRead MoreEssay on Wireless Electricity14464 Words   |  58 PagesEconomic Questions and Considerations 16 IV. Wireless Technology with Today’s Culture 20 V. Ethical Implications of Wireless Power 26 VI. Environmental Impact 30 VII. Bibliography 33 ABSTRACT: Wireless electricity is not a new idea, but it has recently become revitalized. This paper looks at the different facets of this invigorated technology. First, it talks about what wireless electricity is and the differentRead MoreTransportation in Food Industry7769 Words   |  32 Pagesstarted to come in use, it increased the capacity substansially. The invention of the wheel gave people carts and roads were built to make it faster and better for them. Until the 19th century, sea transport dominated food transport technology. However, during the 1800s the steamship and railway revolutionized continental transport and food trade (eHow. Com). These better transport methods made trade between people grow, and foods were shipped long distances. Better roads, bigger and better ships andRead MoreCase Study for Management Accounting36912 Words   |  148 Pagesfirm’s engineers concentrated on understanding the customer’s requirements. The firm’s products were used in a wide variety of applications and most were custom designed. Many of these applications presented state-of-the-art challenges in sealing technology. Without careful attention to the underlying requirements, the firm could easily fail to design an effective seal. Fast prototyping consisted of rapidly creating a working example of the new product. Fast prototyping had two advantages. First, theRead MoreCase Study for Management Accounting36918 Words   |  148 Pagesfirm’s engineers concentrated on understanding the customer’s requirements. The firm’s products were used in a wide variety of applications and most were custom designed. Many of these applications presented state-of-the-art challenges in sealing technology. Without careful attention to the underlying requirements, the firm could easily fail to design an effective seal. Fast prototyping consisted of rapidly creating a working example of the new product. Fast prototyping had two advantag es. First, theRead MoreOpportunities23827 Words   |  96 PagesConsumers’ attachment to the Starbucks brand was not based on mass advertising or promotion. It was based, Schultz believed, on their experience in company stores: on their reactions to the coffee, the people who made and served it, and the stores’ atmosphere and sense of community. This experience, he said, â€Å"earned customers’ trust by speaking to their hearts as well as their heads.†9 As they debated international expansion in 1995 and 1996, he and other managers were fairly confident that the appealRead MoreA Study on Customer Preference in Retail Store- Adani Store28361 Words   |  114 Pagessuperpower in the arena of information technology. The retail industry offers to bloom to the same level if conductive environment and support is provided it. India’s one billion populations make the country the second largest in the world in terms of population which is the very basis for successful organized retailing. We should take heart from the fact that most of the world’s successful retail stories in the developed as well as developing countries have shaped up in small towns and villages.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Why Youth Leave the Church Free Essays

Introduction â€Å"With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Savior might be carried to the whole world! † (Education, p. 271). Wow, what a statement. We will write a custom essay sample on Why Youth Leave the Church or any similar topic only for you Order Now This is probably the most well known statement by Sister Ellen White concerning the youth. These words are so powerful and motivating, that they inspire the imagination to look forward to it’s fulfillment, to the day when this army of dedicated Christian young people will be spread out around the world to bring the message of Jesus’ soon return to everyone. I must confess that simply the thought of this sends shivers down my spine. I am, however, forced to question whether this dream will ever become a reality. The church, it seems, is facing a dilemma, in that we are losing the youth. Many of our young people are leaving the church, and in seeking to answer the question of why this is happening, I would like to share with you the resource that I believe to most accurately describe the reason for the youth leaving the church, as well as what to do to stem the flow of this widespread desertion. Recommended Resource(s) The main resource that I believe to be the best and that I would like to recommend, is the book, Why our Teenagers Leave the Church, written by author Roger L. Dudley. I will also be referring to two other resources that I used, both of which is based on the above mentioned book. The first and most important is an article with the same title, and by the same author. It is basically a condensed version of the book, and it covers the basics of the research done, as well as the results and what can be done to prevent the youth from leaving the church. The second is a sermon by Pastor Dwight K. Nelson, titled, Primer for the next generation: XNY 101. In the sermon Pastor Nelson briefly explains how the study was done, the results attained, and the remedy to the problem. I will now proceed to discuss the two secondary resources (Article: Why our teenagers leave the church; Sermon: Primer for the next generation: XNY 101), based on the premise of the primary resource (Book: Why our teenagers leave the church). Primary Resource Roger Dudley’s book is the culmination of an expansive 10 year longitudinal study, where the author traced the lives of about 1500 teenagers as they grew up and, often, grew disillusioned. According to his book, Dudley asserts that 40 to 50 percent of Adventist youth leave the church before their mid twenties. Secondary Resources Why our Teenagers leave the Church (Article) As was mentioned previously, the article is a very condensed version of the book, and it goes straight to the point. The purpose of the study was to attempt to discover the extent of the church’s loss of it’s young adults. According to the article, 40 to 50 percent of baptized Seventh Day Adventist teenagers either dropped their membership, or became inactive in the church, in their mid twenties. According to Dudley, there are five influences that determines the continuation or discontinuation of young people in the church, and they are as follows: Home Influences Parochial vs. Public Education Congregational Involvemnet Lifestyle Standards Devotional Practices I am in favor of, and recommend this resource, because it is straight forward and to the point. It provides the needed facts right from the start, allowing the reader to look at the all the determinants and then make a plan on how to proceed to negate or minimize the loss of young people. Primer for the next generation: XNY 101 (Sermon: Audio) Pastor Dwight K. Nelson starts of by explaining the details of the study that was done. He quotes the following from the book: â€Å"Many teenagers and young adults are leaving the church because they perceive it to be behavior centered when they are looking for relationships. † (Why Our Teenagers Leave the Church, P58) â€Å"We have seen that though our youth have heard the words of the gospel of righteousness by grace through faith, . . . [our] emphasis on behavioral standards has led the majority to believe that they must somehow merit salvation. . . Through precept and example, we must do everything possible to clarify grace and to break the hold of legalism. We must communicate a gospel of hope. Without this effort we will never retain our youth. They will not continue to struggle in a contest that they cannot possibly win. † (58, 59 emphasis supplied) I would also gladly recommend this resource, because Paste r Nelson identifies the problem from the data, and he then goes on to provide a remedy to the problem. Conclusion â€Å"We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future. † Franklin D. Roosevelt When looking at the data covered in these resources, it is clear that the future is uncertain. It is also clear that the youth are the leaders of tomorrows church, and in order for them to lead, they need to be there. We need to realize that we cannot necessarily set everything in place for our youth, but, what we can however do, is to prepare our youth for the future, for the decision’s that they will have to make. We can prepare them for this uncertain future by laying a good foundation in our educational institutions, at church, and most importantly at home. The greatest determinant, by far, is the family. If the family is built on the rock, nothing can shake it. â€Å"With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Savior might be carried to the whole world! † (Education, p. 271). — Reference List Ellen G. White, Education ( Washington, D. C. : Review and Herald, 1903). Roger L. Dudley, Why Our Teenagers Leave the Church: Personal Stories from a 10-Year Study (Hagerstown, Md. : Review and Herald, 2000) Roger L. Dudley, Why Our Teenagers Leave the Church (Spectrum, Volume 28, Issue 4, Autumn 2000) How to cite Why Youth Leave the Church, Papers

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Managing Cultural Diversity A Case Analysis of Hilton Hotels Corporation

Introduction The issue of cultural diversity is increasingly attracting broad attention from academics and industry, not only in the United States but also globally.Advertising We will write a custom report sample on Managing Cultural Diversity: A Case Analysis of Hilton Hotels Corporation specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More Current globalization trends coupled with international labor migration has meant that societies, nations and organizations are becoming increasingly cross cultural (Richardson 2005), thus the need for stakeholders to adopt and harness strategic initiatives to leverage diversity as well as enhance performance and effectiveness (Ying-Chang et al 2011). The hospitality industry, in particular, is at the core of recent developments in globalization and labor migration as can be witnessed by the increasing mobility of the workforce and attempts within the industry to expand business operations to international fronti ers (Pinilla 2002). Hence, the importance of developing strategies to manage cultural diversity becomes a central guiding pillar for the industry. Aim Structure Assuming a case study approach, the present paper aims to address how Hilton Hotels Corp employs strategic initiatives in recruitment and training of multi-cultural workforce with the view to gain competitive efficiencies and enhance organizational effectiveness through managing cultural diversity. The paper begins by briefly explaining the various facets of cultural diversity and how they apply to the hospitality industry, followed by a brief overview of why organizations need to manage cultural diversity and if such management can translate to competitive advantage. The main focus of the paper, however, will be to critically analyze how the Hilton Hotels Corp uses the recruitment process and training initiatives as strategies to manage cultural diversity and hence gain competitive advantage. The paper will conclude by pro viding some recommendations that can be used by industry players to enhance competitiveness through leveraging diversity. Cultural Diversity At the most basic level, cultural diversity â€Å"†¦reflects the characteristics that make one individual culturally different from another†¦The difference encompass patterns of lifestyle, values, beliefs, ideals and practices, race, ethnicity, national origin, language and religion† (Richardson 2005, p. 24).Advertising Looking for report on business economics? Let's see if we can help you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More In organizational context, cultural diversity encompasses all groups of people at all echelons of the organization, and requires that employees are empowered with the capacity to pursue their career aspirations without being unnecessarily inhibited by the aforementioned variables, which are largely considered as irrelevant to individual performance (Kautish 2012). Cultural Diversity at Hilton Hotels Corp Before going to the basics of how Hilton manages cultural diversity, it is imperative to note that international workers are a mounting category of employees in the hospitality industry, primarily due to globalization, market expansion, high employee turnover and skills shortages (Devine et al 2007). Owing to these factors, culturally diverse workers form an invaluable new source of labor for the hospitality industry, as long as they are adequately integrated into the industry and properly managed. This prerogative, in my view, elucidates the importance of cultural diversity management within the hospitality industry. With more than 540 hotels and resorts in over 78 countries across six contnents (Hilton Hotels Resorts 2012), the Hilton Hotels Corp is undoubtedly one of the leading hospitality organizations in the world. The hospitality chain has its roots in the United States, but it has effectively used the concept of franchising to expand to all corners of the world, including popular locations such as New York, London, Paris, Beijing, Toronto and Sao Paulo, among others (Ying-Chang et al, 2011). The noted expansion implies that Hilton operates in culturally diverse geographical contexts and employs increasingly culturally diverse workforce to manage its operations and serve customers worldwide. The analysis section of this paper will focus attention on how this hotel chain uses manages cultural diversity through recruitment processes and training initiatives to enhance competitive efficiencies. The Need to Manage Cultural Diversity Pinilla (2002) argues that â€Å"†¦the new labor and economic contexts have led the hospitality industry to face an increasingly culturally diverse workforce† (p. 26). Such cultural variations, if not properly managed, can destroy the harmonious functioning of global hospitality organizations and also render labor and employment practices in these firms sub-optimal (Stevens Ogunji 2011).Adver tising We will write a custom report sample on Managing Cultural Diversity: A Case Analysis of Hilton Hotels Corporation specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More More importantly, research has found that a diverse workforce, if properly managed, provides organization with an expanded pool of talent and experience which not only drives innovation and change but ultimately leads to competitive advantages (Adu-Febiri 2006; Cox Blake 1991). Consequently, there exists compelling evidence that managing cultural diversity in contemporary firms is one of the most important components of organizational success. Advantages Disadvantages of Managing Cultural Diversity Among the advantages, a stream of emerging literature demonstrates that hospitality organizations that have adopted cultural diversity management as part of the business strategy are more successful and are able to attain competitive advantage over others, particularly in terms of e mployee empowerment, creation of a corporate culture that is respectful and inclusive, and facilitating employees to employ their unique knowledge to expand the organization’s knowledge base (Cox Blake 1991; Richardson 2005). Conversely, according to these authors, organizational effectiveness is put in jeopardy if managers are incapable of managing cultural diversity, more so in limiting the organizations’ capacity to embrace the innovation that is extremely fundamental for developing and maintaining sustainable competitive efficiencies. Extending on these studies, Stevens and Ogunji (2011) argue that managing cultural diversity assists hospitality organizations to penetrate broader competitive arena and compete in diverse markets, not mentioning that it makes it possible for these organizations to promote flexibility and rapid response to organizational change. Additionally, effective management of cultural diversity prevents workplace discrimination and prejudice, enabling employees to make full use of their skills and capabilities for optimal output (Roper Brookes 1997). Lastly, effective management of cultural diversity enhances the organization’s ability to respond to cultural preferences in local markets, improves decision making processes through wider choice of perspectives and more thorough analysis, and enhances organizational flexibility to adequately respond to multiple demands and shifting business environments (Richardson 2005; Kautish 2012).Advertising Looking for report on business economics? Let's see if we can help you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More Among the disadvantages, cultural diversity is known to cause communication difficulties (Shen et al 2009), increases ambiguity, complexity and confusion (Adu-Febiri, 2006), limits management’s choice in decision making, affects technology transfer and management ideology and value system, and triggers over generalization of organizational policies, strategies, practices and procedures (Kautish 2012). Analysis Discussion This section analyze and discuss how Hilton Hotels Corp, based in the United States but running hospitality subsidiaries across six continents, employs strategic initiatives in recruitment and training to manage its workforce with the view to gain competitive efficiencies and enhance organizational effectiveness. Recruitment The main objective â€Å"†¦of effective recruiting is to attract strong candidates who are prepared both to meet the agency’s strategic goals and priorities and to work in the agency’s environment† (Building and Maintaining 2000, para. 16). Hilton Hotels Corp (thereafter referred to as Hilton) has realized that broadening its employee base and enlisting a diverse workforce not only expands the organization’s pool of talent, innovativeness, experience, and insight, but also provides it with the requisite inputs to excel in the international business environment (Wise, 2011). Consequently, the organization has developed recruitment policies and processes that guarantee representation of minority groups and individuals with unique talents across diverse cultures. In its franchising policy, Hilton has embedded a recruitment strategy that avails an opportunity for locals to manage and work its numerous franchises, provided they operate within the guidelines set by the organizations and business strategy (Ying-Chang, 2011). As such, local managers and employees are better placed to fulfill the demands and expectations of customers, providing the organization with a competitive edge over o ther industry players. Such a recruitment policy, according to Ma Allen (2009), enables the organization to reduce costs associated with recruiting expatriates to run local hotel franchises, and also enhances the organization’s capacity to recruit employees of diverse national backgrounds and host country elites. Hilton’s recruitment policies are totally cultural sensitive, implying that candidates are recruited based on their qualifications regardless not only on their age and gender, but also on their religious orientation, ethic origin and nationality (Ying-Chang et al 2011). The organization takes cognizance of the fact that as multiculturalism of workforce increases and global demand for cultural-specific services from consumers intensifies, the development and implementation of culturally sensitive recruitment techniques becomes more than ever valuable and important for players in the hotel and hospitality sector. By recognizing that cultural differences exist b etween the recruiter and potential candidates, particularly where such recruitment is done on ethnic minority groups, it is important for management to undertake consultative and participative recruitment process in line with Holfstede’s small power distance attribute of his cultural dimensions (Holfstede et al 2010). Additionally, as is the norm in Hilton’s recruitment policies, managers recruiting from diverse backgrounds should be encouraged to use variable management and organizational behavior techniques which harmonize the varying needs of culturally diverse candidates to prevent any form of discrimination and to ensure that they are able to identify talent regardless of the individual’s cultural background (Seymen 2006; Ma Allen, 2009). This implies that authority and decision-making in recruitment process must be decentralized to local subsidiaries in line with one of Holfstede’s small power distance attributes in his cultural dimensions (Holfste de et al 2010). At Hilton, recruitment is not done from the head office; rather authority to recruit key staff to run international subsidiaries is decentralized to the local managers in a bid to achieve competitive efficiencies through the recruitment of local members of staff, who are undeniably well versed with local business trends and practices (Ying-Chang et al 2011). Such a recruitment initiative facilitates the selected workers to not only respond effectively to cultural preferences in local markets but also bring into the organization high levels of creativity and innovation through diversity of perspectives and less emphasis on centralized rules (Seymen, 2006). Training Training forms one of the foremost strategies that organizations use to assist employees to increase awareness and sensitivities to culturally diverse groups with the view to enhance organizational competitiveness and success (Seymen 2006; Adu-Febiri, 2006). To borrow from the power-distance dimension of Ho lfstede’s cultural dimension, minority workers may have the perception that they are less powerful and, as such, expect organizational power and authority to be distributed unequally within the organizational context (Holfstede et al 2010). However, a strand of existing literature demonstrates that training initiatives have been successful in empowering minority employees to give their best without regard to existing cultural differences (Devine et al 2007) , hence contributing to competitive advantage. The Hilton Hotels Corp engages in bi-annual training of employees to recognize cultural differences among the workforce and to utilize them to generate advantages for the hospitality organization. In these forums, the management is involved in training employees to respect ethnic, racial, religious, gender and age differences, along with their contractual, training and employing practices (Groschl, 2011). This form of training has been instrumental in lowering employee turnove r and increasing productivity in the hospitality industry (Pinilla 2002). Formal training in cultural diversity issues has also enhanced organizational flexibility by empowering culturally diverse employees to respond effectively to multiple demands and shifting work environments that are characteristic of the hospitality industry (Richardson 2005). Apart from the bi-annual training sessions for employees, the management of different Hilton franchises publishes and disseminates booklets and brochures intended to form the basis of employee behavior during interactions within a multicultural context. Rules of engagement as well standards of etiquette are well espoused in these mediums of communication to enable the workers deal with variant situations as they arise in the work environment, leading to better cooperation and collaboration among culturally-diverse employees as well as superior customer satisfaction (The Hilton Family, n.d.). In addition, the hospitality organization trai ns foreign employees on the use of a second language, which may be the official language used by locals. Such training, according to Ma Allen (2009, facilitates faster integration between management expatriates and local members of staff, leading to achievement of competitive efficiencies. Conclusion Recommendations This paper has sufficiently demonstrated how Hilton Hotels Corp has been able to employ recruitment and training strategies to manage cultural diversity. Many organizations within the hospitality industry are increasingly becoming multicultural due to globalization trends and international migration of labor, hence the need for hospitality organizations to engage such strategies to achieve competitive advantage and effectiveness. However, it is recommended that the management of Hilton engage local stakeholders in creating an environment of inclusion and values differences, and in assigning adequate recruitment and training resources to existing diversity programs. Add itionally, it is imperative for the hospitality organization to make employees an integral component of its efforts to plan and implement cultural diversity initiatives. Reference List Adu-Febiri, F 2006, ‘The destiny of cultural diversity in a globalized world’, Review of Human Factor Studies, vol. 12 no. 1, pp. 30-64. Building and maintaining a diverse workforce 2000, Retrieved from Cox, T.H Blake, S 1991, ‘Managing cultural diversity: Implications for organizational competitiveness’, Academy of Management Executive, vol. 5 no. 3, pp. 45-56. Devine, F, Baum, T, Hearns, N Devine, A 2007, ‘Cultural diversity in hospitality work: The Northern Ireland experience’, International Journal of Human Resource Management, vol. 18 no. 2, pp. 333-349. Hilton Hotels Resorts 2012, Retrieved from Holfstede, G, Holfstede, G.J Minkov, M 2010, Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind, 3rd ed, Mc-Graw Hill, London. Jin-Zhao, W Jing, W 2009, ‘Issues, challenges, and trends facing hospitality industry’, Management Science Engineering, vol. 3 no. 4, pp. 53-58. Kautish, P.V 2012, ‘Paradigm of workforce diversity and human resource management’, The Indian Journal of Management, vol. 5 no. 1, pp. 37-41. Ma, R Allen, D.G 2009, ‘Recruiting across cultures: A value-based model of recruitment’, Human Resource Management Review, vol. 19 no. 4, pp. 334-346. Pinilla, G.H 2002, Are the selection methods used by the hospitality industry culturally sensitive. Web. Richardson, P 2005, ‘Managing cultural diversity for competitive advantage’, Engineering Management, vol. 15 no. 2, pp. 24-27. Roper, A Brookes, M 1997, ‘The multicultural management of international hotel groups’, International Journal of Hospitality Management, vol. 16 no. 2, pp. 147-159. Seymen, O.A 2006, ‘The cultural diversity phenomenon in organizations and different approaches for effective cultural diversity management: A literally review’, Cross Cultural Communication: An International Journal, vol. 13 no. 4, pp. 296-315. Shen, J, Chanda, A., D’Nello, B Monga, M 2009, ‘Managing diversity through human resource management: An international perspective and conceptual framework’, The International Journal of Human Resource Management, vol. 20 no. 2, pp. 235-251. Stevens, R.H Ogunji, E 2011, ‘Preparing business students for multi-cultural work environment of the future: A teaching agenda, ‘International Journal of Management, vol. 28 no. 2, pp. 528-544. The Hilton Family n.d., Where diversity works, Web. Wise, M.Z 2011, Reinventing the Hilton Hotel, Retrieved from Ying-Chang, C, Cheng, W.W Chien, C.Y 2011, ‘A case study on business performance management of Hilton Hotels Corp’, International Bus iness Research, vol. 4 no. 2, pp. 213-218. This report on Managing Cultural Diversity: A Case Analysis of Hilton Hotels Corporation was written and submitted by user Fiona Knowles to help you with your own studies. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly. You can donate your paper here.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

The Boston Massacre Hero, Crispus Attucks

The Boston Massacre Hero, Crispus Attucks The first person to die in the Boston Massacre was an African-American sailor named Crispus Attucks. Not much is known about Crispus Attucks prior to his death in 1770, but his actions that day became a source of inspiration for both white and black Americans for years to come. Attucks in Slavery Attucks was born around 1723; his father was an African slave in Boston, and his mother was a Natick Indian. His life up until he was 27 years old is a mystery, but in 1750 Deacon William Brown of Framingham, Mass., placed a notice in the Boston Gazette that his slave, Attucks, had run away. Brown offered a reward of 10 pounds as well as reimbursement for any incurred expenses to anyone who caught Attucks. The Boston Massacre No one captured Attucks, and by 1770 he was working as a sailor on a whaling ship. On March 5, he was having lunch near Boston Common along with other sailors from his ship, waiting for good weather so they could set sail. When he heard a commotion outside, Attucks went to investigate, discovering a crowd of Americans clustered near the British garrison. The crowd had gathered after a barbers apprentice accused a British soldier of not paying for a haircut. The soldier struck the boy in anger, and a number of Bostonians, seeing the incident, gathered and shouted at the soldier. Other British soldiers joined their comrade, and they stood as the crowd grew larger. Attucks joined the crowd. He took leadership of the group, and they followed him to the custom house. There, the American colonists began throwing snowballs at the soldiers guarding the customs house. The accounts of what happened next differed. A witness for the defense testified at the trials of Captain Thomas Preston and eight other British soldiers that Attucks picked up a stick and swung it at the captain and then a second soldier. The defense laid the blame for the actions of the crowd at Attucks feet, painting him as a troublemaker who incited the mob. This may have been an early form of race-baiting as other witnesses refuted this version of events. However much they were provoked, the British soldiers opened fire on the crowd that had gathered, killing Attucks first and then four others. At the trial of Preston and other soldiers, witnesses differed on whether Preston had given the order to fire or whether a lone soldier had discharged his gun, prompting his fellow soldiers to open fire. The Legacy of Attucks Attucks became a hero to the colonials during the American Revolution; they saw him as gallantly standing up to abusive British soldiers. And it is entirely possible that Attucks decided to join the crowd to take a stand against perceived British tyranny. As a sailor in the 1760s, he would have been aware of the British practice of impressing (or forcing) American colonial sailors into the service of the British navy. This practice, among others, exacerbated tensions between v and the British. Attucks also became a hero to African-Americans. In the mid-nineteenth century, African-American Bostonians celebrated Crispus Attucks Day every year on March 5. They created the holiday to remind Americans of Attucks sacrifice after blacks were declared non-citizens in the (1857)Â  Supreme Court decision. In 1888, the city of Boston erected a memorial to Attucks in Boston Common. Attucks was seen as someone who had martyred himself for American independence, even as he himself had been born into the oppressive system of American slavery. Sources Langguth, A. J. Patriots: The Men Who Started the American Revolution. New York: Simon Schuster, 1989.Lanning, Michael Lee. The African-American Soldier: From Crispus Attucks to Colin Powell. Seacus, NJ: Citadel Press, 2004.Thomas, Richard W. Life for Us Is What We Make It: Building Black Community in Detroit, 1915-1945. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1992.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

The Whys and Hows of Paraphrasing

The Whys and Hows of Paraphrasing The Whys and Hows of Paraphrasing The Whys and Hows of Paraphrasing By Mark Nichol Paraphrasing, rewording of spoken or written content, is a necessary skill for every writer. This post discusses the purposes of process of paraphrasing. Why Paraphrase? Quoting directly without attribution is plagiarism, an offense against those responsible for crafting the original message. In a scholarly setting, it constitutes academic dishonesty, which when committed by students is punished with a failing grade, suspension, or expulsion; it also compromises their future in academia. In the case of faculty or academic researchers, it signals a lack of integrity and can ruin one’s career. Even with attribution, however, extensive direct quotation in course assignments or in scholarly research is discouraged; some sources recommend that no more than 10 percent of an academic paper or article consist of exact wording from a research source. In both trade books and scholarly publishing, the same benchmarks seems appropriate; journalism is more accepting, but direct quotation consisting of more than 25 percent of an article (except in the case of a question-and-answer interview) is likely to be regarded as excessive. Why should paraphrasing predominate? The purpose of academic writing is not to exactly reproduce the findings and interpretations of others; it is to report findings and interpretations and produce commentary on them, extrapolate and evaluate, and make new inferences, as well as to synthesize multiple sources. Therefore, academic writing should summarize the work of others, reproducing content verbatim only when a strikingly original conclusion, or a statement that should be clearly attributed as exact wording, merits inclusion in the secondary work. In journalistic writing, quotations often add color and vibrancy to an article. Precise reproduction of some of a subject’s or source’s comments conveys the person’s character and personality or lends authority. However, just as with scholarly prose, direct quotation should be the exception, not the rule; the reporter’s task is to describe an event or issue or to create an impression for readers who were not present during an incident or an interview. Paraphrasing also allows reorganization of sources’ or subjects’ statements not in order to manipulate the comments with the intent to mislead, but to improve the narrative flow or place randomly uttered thoughts in coherent chronological order. This technique also enables writers to impart information that is valuable or integral but was not expressed well. How to Paraphrase Paraphrasing is simple: Read a passage from a source, or examine your notes from an interview, and imagine you’re sharing the information with others which is exactly what you’re doing. Strive to find a simpler, more direct way to describe what you’ve read; it’s acceptable to use the same word now and then, and you may occasionally employ partial direct quotations to reproduce key phrases, but always remember that your goal is to report, not reproduce. And though you may consider the source content better stated than what you can produce, be confident that your paraphrase will be good enough. How would you paraphrase a passage like the first sentence of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address? Here’s the source material: â€Å"Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.† Lincoln’s strategy for placing the event he refers to in chronological context is eloquently poetic, but a paraphrase need only provide the context: â€Å"Almost a hundred years ago† is sufficient. The nouns identifying the actors, the locale, and the result are easily replaced with predecessors (or, more colorfully, forebears or â€Å"those who came before us†), land, and country, and â€Å"brought forth† can be rendered formed: â€Å"Those who came before in this land us formed a new country† says the same thing as the rest of the first phrase of the original. â€Å"Conceived in liberty† can be rewritten â€Å"created while fighting for freedom.† The paraphrase of the final phrase, meanwhile, could consist of the words â€Å"inspired by the idea of human equality.† The result, not as stirring, but serviceable, is reportage that says, â€Å"According to the speaker, almost a hundred years ago, those who came before us in this land formed a new country while fighting for freedom and inspired by the idea of human equality.† However, the restatement unnecessarily retains the syntax and is wordier than necessary (and wordier than the original text). Keep trying: â€Å"The speaker said that our forebears, believing in human equality, formed a new country here when they fought for freedom almost a hundred years ago.† If you wished to insert at least a few words of the original wording, you might delete the phrase about freedom and throw in â€Å"conceived in liberty,† set off by commas and framed in quotation marks, after here. As you paraphrase, keep in mind that the key to the process is distillation of the source material to its essence with or without commentary, depending on whether interpretative content is expected from the paraphrasing writer. Want to improve your English in five minutes a day? Get a subscription and start receiving our writing tips and exercises daily! Keep learning! Browse the Freelance Writing category, check our popular posts, or choose a related post below:Addressing A Letter to Two People8 Proofreading Tips And TechniquesEach vs. Both