Blog Entry #6

Part #1: Goals Reflection

One of the goals that I had picked to change throughout the semester was being more thoughtful and listening to ideas that were different to mine. In the past, I’ve always considered myself to be the kind of person that holds on to my personal ideas no matter the points or interesting ideas that others might present to me. When I realized that we were going to try to cooperatively argue in this class, I realized that in order to successfully interact with others I had to accept other points of view and realize that others have the possibility to offer ideas that will sway my opinion and help make me a better listener. When we started talking in class, listening to others slowly became easier. After our roundtable groups, I realized that I had learned a lot from my classmates and I have slowly realized the importance of listening to others and the ideas that they have to offer. I think that if I continue to listen to others and their opinions the way I have, it will help me become a successful listener which will really help me when it comes to working in a team or in the incorporation of others’ opinions.

Part#2: Deliberation Log, Click Below

Final Deliberation Log

Part #3: Outline, Click Below

Final Outline

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Blog Entry #5: Stage 1, Argumentative Essay

Stage 1: Argumentative Essay

Topic: Cultural/Religious Influences Leading to Teenage Pregnancy in Hispanic Girls

A. How well does your topic meet your selection criteria?

I decided to choose a topic involving a problem that I think is getting bigger every generation which is teenage pregnancy. Being a Human Communications major with a Chicana Studies concentration, I have always found very interesting to further research what the religious and cultural influences Chicana girls have to think that it’s acceptable to cut their education short in order to get pregnant and start a family at a young age. Along with that, i’m also aware that religion is a huge influence in the Hispanic culture which prevents a lot of these girls from having the security of speaking with their parents about premarital sex which leads to lack of prevention and therefore unwanted pregnancies. I believe that this is an issue that is definately going to be present in the next ten years because as we, the further generations adapt to new ideas and sometimes more liberal choices, influences in culture and religion that aren’t budging create a problem for Chicana girls that are trying to do the same but are held back due to ideas and thoughts that are not easily changed.

B. Preliminary Bibliography

 Trejos-Castillos, E. (2009). Risky Sexual Behaviors in First and Second Generation Hispanic Immigrant Youth. EBSCO HOST, 38(5), 719-731.

This is a study that concentrates in the differences between the last two generations and how these dramatic ways of living lead to dangerous life styles in Hispanic teens because the cultural gap is bigger than every. I believe that this is a good article towards my research because it shows the damage that the cultural gap has created in Hispanic families and how this is having a direct effect on the way that Hispanic girls carry themselves.

Diez, V., & Mistry, J. (2010). Early Childbearing and Educational Attainment Among Mainland Puerto Rican Teens.. EBSCO HOST, 25(5), 690-715.
This journal focuses on the direct connection of Puerto Rican teens that have children and how they continue their education even with the responsabilities that they have brought upon themselves due to their pregnancy. I thought this was a very useful article because it goes in depth on how the struggle is for the girls and with them being Puerto Rican it shows direct issues that they have with their culture and how this holds them back.
Dogan-Aytes, A. (2007). Teenage Pregnancy Among Latinas: Examining Risk and Protective Factors.. EBSCO HOST, 29(4), 554-569.
I found this article to be very interesting because it shows the risks and situations that Latina women have with pregnancy that are different from the risks that the average woman goes through. This factor is perfect to further examine for my research.
DeRey. (2006). Acculturation and the Sexual and Reproductive Health Of Latino Youth in the United States: A Literature Review.. EBSCO HOST, 38(4), 208-219.
This is a very interesting article because it shows how the culture of the Latino community plays a part in their sexual and reproductive health, which is exactly what i’m trying to research about. I found this article to be very helpful because it goes in depth about the lack of information provided because of the lack of support from their community.
Plotnick, R. (2004). Better Child Support Enforcement: Can It Reduce Teenage Premarital Childbearing?. EBSCO HOST, 25(5), 634-657.
Finally, I found this article to be very interesting because it introduces ideas to keep teens from having children before marriage. It is intersting to see the ideas that are developed to try to help further generations.
C.  Central Issue
  • How does Hispanic culture and religion play a part in teenage pregnancy? How does this lead to early marriage and lack of communication with parents? 
  • This topic has a lot of controversy because every generation we have more teenagers getting pregnant and because of lack of understanding and cultural ideas imposed about premarital sex, it is common for Hispanic girls to not take proper care for themselves and therefore become one of the higest pregnancy rates.
  • Other issues that will be addressed are those of language barriers between parents and teens, and the lack of information available to both parents and teenagers.

D. Preliminary feedback from relevant others who might disagree?

I think there would be those who would disagree with my argument because they feel that religion and tradition should be maintained. A lot of the times the church and tradition fail to budge from their ideas. A lot of parents feel that sex related information shouldn’t be made available to their children because they feel like they shouldn’t be having sex in the first place so they feel like they shouldn’t be involved in that situation. Finally, there could be the argument of religous points that when a teenager becomes pregnant she should be married and give up their life as a teen. This cuts the teen’s life short, but others view this as the responsability of the girl for getting pregnant in the first place.

E. Acknowledgement of how your standpoint affects your position on the topic.

I admit that my standpoint will have a direct influence on the topic. I believe that tradition and religion should adapt to the life that people have nowadays and should just like others have changed the way that they act in order to survive in a new society, it is important for Hispanic families to understand that some of the religious views and traditions need to be let go. As a Hispanic woman, I have seen the effect that these traditions have had on women in my family which makes me very passionate about the way that tradions can influence a woman to quit on her life and have an unsuccessful future.

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Blog Entry #4: Reflection on Round Tables

PART ONE

  1. I believe that in order to address the issue of childhood obesity everyone needs to take responsibility for their contributions to this issue as opposed to try to point the finger at someone else and pass on the blame for this epidemic. The way I look at it, society and the media is responsible for putting products that cause a child to become obese, but we as a society have the responsibility to stay away from those products and keep our children away from those things as well to keep children from forming unhealthy habits that become an unhealthy regimen that causes obesity in further years. One thing that I thought was useful is to speak to children of the unhealthy effects of these foods and lack of exercise from a young age so they will be more likely to make smarter and healthier decisions in their future when the parent isn’t there to monitor their child’s food.
  2. I found our team to be very respectful and open to other perspectives to different opinions. When researching, we brought up different points of view when it came to social responsibility, and ways to take on the problem of childhood obesity and I found that every time this came up, the group was willing to listen to all points of view before we reached any decisions and incorporated different thoughts from all of us when creating solutions or ideas to the issue.
  3. I believe that in my team we were all very aware of people’s responsibility when it came to this problem and we were considerate of the different factors that contributed to this problem other than simply pointing the finger at parents and dropping all responsibility on them. As we researched, we realized that with there being so many factors to this problem, it didn’t make a lot of sense to try to focus on the root of the problem as being one thing when clearly multiple aspects need to be changed in order to accomplish change.

PART TWO

  1. After we heard the reports back from the different groups that provided different thoughts and issues amongst the epidemic of childhood obesity, I think that something has to be done in order to convince people to stop eating so much food that is high in calorie content along with the lack of exercise which teaches children to adapt to this lifestyle and creates habits for the rest of their life. An important factor came up in the presentation of our group, which was group five. One of the group mates came up with the idea of developing a tax on fast food, much like the taxes that were developed for people that purchase cigarettes.

By imposing a tax like these, people would be encouraged to stop eating as much as this food and these taxes could be used towards making healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables accessible to families with limited incomes. Because fast food is so quick and cheap, people are tempted to eat this food on a daily basis, but if healthier foods became more accessible and information of the health benefits that people would have by consuming these foods people might be inspired and encouraged to create change for their children and themselves.

PART THREE

  1. I feel that that my role in our roundtable was helpful and offered a helpful contribution to our group. I researched the school responsibility in childhood obesity and by researching this I was able to offer an important factor to why obesity cannot be fully blamed on parents and why it’s unreasonable to try to pinpoint the problem when change is more important than the root of the problem at this point. While presenting, I feel that the information that I had and the information that one of my fellow team mates helped find controversial information of whether schools were responsible or whether it was the parent’s responsibility.
  2. Looking at the way that our presentation and work came together I think that we worked well as a team. Although we presented a week early which made us speed up the process of our research, we all contributed on time and maintained contact in order to be able to have all the work completed and to know our individual research to make sure that we all had accurate information that was linked and provided a solid line of information to report back to our classmates. If we couldn’t make it to meetings we always made sure to contact by email or phone and that helped us create a positive learning environment and succeed as a team.

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Blog Entry #3

Part 1

I feel that I have made progress in all my student development plan goals, and I owe that partially to the group work that we have done with our research project. The teamwork has helped me use the support from my team members to avoid procrastination and their respectful and attentive listening has helped me voice my opinions without having fear that the ideas that I mentioned will be mentioned to others or taken in a wrong way. Although I feel like I have improved in my goals, I know there’s room for improvement. The major thing that I want to be more successful in is the way that I divide my work up in order to finish it all on time.

 To avoid procrastination I plan to follow a few tips that I picked up which we watched the Critical Thinking video. I want to become more organized with the way I divide up my work and set personal deadlines in order to divide the work that I have to do and do it by sections as opposed to trying to finish it all the night before it is due which results in mediocre work. After trying this technique, I plan to check back on the way that this new method has worked out for me to see if I have to make any adjustments to the way that I am studying and finishing my work or to see if anything needs to be changed.

 Part 2

 My team experience has been very positive and helpful. As a team, we have all finished our research on time and have been consistent about attending class and dividing work to finish everything and have accurate research. We have followed the agreements in our charter, especially the parts of respecting different ideas and applying all our thoughts into our research, even if we have different views on certain topics or ideas.

The only thing that I can think that we can possibly make better  is by linking the two parts of our research together. We researched schools and the responsibility that they might have on childhood obesity and health campaigns. We divided up the research and group, but I think there are connections between these two sections and it would be nice to link them together because a lot of these health campaigns are based on school activities and sometimes even school funds.

Part 3

The Constructive Listening exercises that we have done in class have really helped me a lot. Before doing these exercises, it was difficult to really listen to someone speaking and not respond or interrupt with my thoughts. When I would offer my opinion I wasn’t meaning to interrupt whoever was talking, but I was so used to interrupting that it didn’t even cross my mind whether it was rude to cut the other person off or not. When we started doing these exercises, it was a little difficult to do the talking at first because the other person was completely silent, only offering head nods and confused looks, but as we kept practicing, it got easier to talk straight through and not have awkward pauses halfway through.

Being the listener is a lot easier though. By listening to people’s complete thoughts it is easier to see what they’re thinking. Another thing that I noticed was that when people talk without being interrupted they often form new thoughts because saying things to someone else is a lot more eye opening that just forming thoughts to ourselves. I have found that talking about our personal experiences is a little harder than talking about a different topic, but it’s better to reflect on things while talking to someone else.

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The Weight of Schools on Childhood Obesity; Goals for Successful Learning

The article that I chose came from US News. It offers information on the responsibility that schools have on the childhood obesity epidemic and provides many facts that explain the many reasons that schools are forced to be tied down to vending machines and fast food because of financial reasons and many other factors that we don’t usually think about as we look for someone to blame when it comes to the health hazard that childhood obesity has become.

CONTENT:

  • Schools profit from 4,500-11,000 every two years by having vending machines in schools although they are aware that having these vending machines will lead to childhood obesity and unhealthy choices.
  • Fifteen percent of children over six battle obesity.
  • Sixty percent of obese five to ten year olds suffer from one or more heart disease risk factors.
  •  Twenty percent of schools provide brand name fast food as part of the USDA supported school lunch.
  •  Children are targeted by media television ads by creating commercials to catch their attention and providing many of the high calorie meals with a toy or prize that will attract children and pressure parents to buy them.

EMPATHIC:  This article concentrates on the idea that many children are given the choice of eating an unhealthy meals in school. By the children not being provided with the benefits of having a healthy meal as opposed to an unhealthy one children are more likely to eat fast food, junk food, and lack exercise because they don’t know or realize the risks that come with eating such meals. That is until they are part of the percentage of children that are faced with the health factors that come with obesity including heart problems which is one of the biggest threats to population in the United States. It also provides us with reasons behind the corporations having a tight grip on schools because by selling and promoting their products the schools gain very much needed financial assistance from these wealthy companies.

CRITICAL THINKING: I believe that this article provides a lot of facts and content that show us that schools and the food and lack of physical activity provided for them are a big factor in the health risks that children often face cause by obesity. The answer to part of the problem is very obvious to them but the vending machines, and endorsements from fast foods that are sold on campus are a big chunk of the money that is provided to the school so these schools aren’t willing to let go of these funds even if it means jeopardizing the health of a lot of the children.

LINK TO ARTICLE:

http://health.usnews.com/usnews/health/articles/041011/11fat_print.htm

The first goal that I would like to achieve in order to improve my communication integrity is to keep the information that is given to me to myself. By not repeating the things that are said to me is going to improve my integrity and I will not reveal information that can possibly be very personal to some people and more information will be shared if the people I’m talking to know that their opinions and situations will not be told to anyone else by me and will lead to better and deeper conversations.

 My second goal is to become more opinionated and speak up about the way I think in order to improve my teamwork performance. By speaking up about my opinions will make conversations more interesting for me and for the rest of my team which will lead to a better learning experience for all of us because more information and ideas will be shared. This is the most important goal to me because I find myself keeping my opinions to myself very often and this leads to confusion after conversations and a lot of unanswered questions.

Finally, my third goal is to avoid procrastination and finish and submit my work as soon as I can. I feel that this goal is important when it comes to working in groups because not finishing work on time affects the whole group because we will end up with missing information. I plan to do this by pushing deadlines forward to myself to make sure that my work is finished a couple days prior to the due date and therefore I will never have the problem of scrambling the night before to complete work and not providing the best work that I am capable of.

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Reflective Blog Entry #1

After completing my Learning Style quiz, I wasn’t very surprised to find out that I came back categorized with a reflective style of learning. I wasn’t very shocked to see these results because I’ve always considered myself to be a reflective thinker that gets the main picture of the situation and usually derives ideas and thoughts from the main idea and issue.  Although I consider my learning style very helpful, I think that I need to concentrate on being more of an active learner. Because of my reflective learning, it’s easy for me to lose focus on lectures and later reflect and derive the missing pieces that although usually end up being right, I feel like I lose and forget small details that a lot of the times end up being very important.

I plan on being more of an active learner by focusing more not just on what I tend to think of as the “big picture” in which I fill in facts, but by learning and absorbing small facts and ideas that instead will help me put together an idea not so much based on my own personal derivations, but on small facts that are accurate. This will improve and help my study skills by improving my reading, learning, and writing style so I will have the opportunity to base my writings more on facts rather than my own ideas.

I find our roundtable subject of childhood obesity to be considered as child abuse very interesting and controversial. Throughout the years I have heard bits and pieces of this issue and the different approaches that government and people wanting to create a healthier society have taken and have been unsuccessful. I would like to focus my personal research on the effects that schools, after school programs, and fundraisers have on children’s health impacts and if the educational system should partially be held responsible for the children’s lack of nutrition and physical exercise given that children spend almost a third of their day at school.

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