Saturday, April 30, 2011

Essay on Decision Making

Essay on Decision Making

Critical thinking and decision making go hand in hand to enable us to evaluate a situation, process the information and determine a course of action. The focus of this paper is to put both critical thinking and decision-making under the microscope for closer inspection to see how one compliments the other and how they are used in our professional and personal lives. In addition, the benefits of critical thinking are examined and whether or not these two elements are present in the company I work for, ACN Communications. Lastly, the nominal group technique will be explored as a means for problem solving.

Critical Thinking and Decision Making
Critical Thinking
As human beings, we are faced with many opportunities to critically think about the world around us. From the commercials we see on television, the articles we read in newspapers and even comments from co-workers about the companies we work for, we have the opportunity to question the world and people around us to determine what we think about it and how we are going to respond. The evaluation and questioning of information and situations around us is called critical thinking.

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Critical thinking, as defined in the Grolier Encyclopedia, is "the general term given to a wide range of cognitive skills and intellectual dispositions an individual needs to evaluate claims and arguments in everyday situations, to discover and overcome personal prejudices and biases, to assess the reliability of information according to established intellectual standards, and to make decisions about what to believe and what to do."

In my opinion, critical thinking then is our ability to question whether to believe or disbelieve what is in front of us and to decide how we are going to respond to it. How we respond is determined by the decisions that we make. Decision making is a key component in how we function on a personal and professional level as well.

Decision Making
Both personally and professionally, we make decisions everyday. Determining what to wear to work, which route to take to get there and even what foods we will eat are all decisions that have an impact on our lives. From a professional perspective, decision making is a key part of our jobs. Making the decision to hire or fire someone, whether or not to give someone an important project and deciding if we should launch a new product line, all impact our working lives and relationships in our organization. Decision making is defined as "the act of deciding between two or more alternative courses of action." (A Dictionary of Finance and Banking in Economics and Business, 1997). Being a good decision maker causes others to trust our abilities, whereas the opposite is true if we tend to make decisions hastily without carefully considering the ramifications of those decisions and their impacts across functional units.

It is obvious that decision making is a key component in our lives, but decision making without critical thinking gives us only half of the picture. It is these two components combined that result in successes both personally and professionally.

Critical Thinking & Decision Making
Combining the techniques of critical thinking and decision making results in situations that have been analyzed closely and potential outcomes clearly considered and defined prior to taking any action. In an article written by Greg Kitzmiller (2003), he states that "It seems most business people are busy taking action, meeting with people, interacting and making decisions. Certainly, thinking is one of the most important actions we take and is at the core of strategic planning."

Based on Kitzmiller's comments, I believe that critical thinking and decision making must go hand in hand in order to be successful. In order to develop a strategic plan, you must closely evaluate all aspects and in making decisions about your course of action, you develop a strategic plan for the future. From both a personal and professional level, these two combined techniques will put you in a better position to reach your goals and be successful. As restated by Ken Petress "Making quality decisions involves critical thinking; critical thinking has been defined as - involving the ability to explore a problem, question, or situation; integrate all the available information about it; arrive at a solution or hypothesis; and justify one's position".

Benefits of Critical Thinking
Critical thinking allows us to question our environment and the information presented to us. As stated in our text, we can either "One alternative is to accept passively what you encounter; doing so automatically results in your making someone else's opinion your own. A more active alternative consists of asking questions of yourself in an effort to reach a personal decision about the worth of what you have experienced."

Individual Perspective - ACN Communications, Inc.
When I look my organization, ACN Communications, Inc., I see areas where critical thinking and decision-making are present and absent. Being a product manager for U.S. voice products and North American competitive intelligence, I work with all functional units within the organization. It is at this level, back-office support, that I see the most critical thinking and decision-making taking place. On a daily basis, representative and customer numeric information is prepared to determine our position versus the competition and over the calendar year. Individuals in our operations and finance departments work closely together to monitor our sales and report these findings to upper management. It is at the upper management level however, where I lose sight of critical thinking and decision-making.

Our senior management staff consists of 5 founders, a CEO, COO, CFO and numerous Vice Presidents. Not assuming that these individuals are lacking in critical thinking, it is sometimes difficult to follow their reasoning for the decisions that they make. Case in point, a little over a year ago, half of our organizations employees were relieved of their duties in a downsizing effort. We were advised that in order to remain profitable, we had to decrease our expenses and streamline all of our processes. The remaining employees did just that and now a year later, we have rehired all of our staffs and added additional members to our organization. I question, why we could not streamline our processes and still retain the knowledgeable staff we had in place? It is very difficult to exist in a downsizing effort since work requirements increase while headcount does not.

When I stop to consider that I probably do not have a clear picture of how ACN looked financially a year ago, I know that I cannot critical evaluate the situation in order to understand their position and reasoning. Perhaps this understanding in and of itself is critical thinking.

Nominal Group Technique
The nominal group technique strongly encourages and harbors participation by everyone in the group selected to tackle a particular issue or problem. No one or two individuals dominate this decision-making process. In addition, this technique works well with large groups as well as smaller groups and really focuses on the issues at hard without the concern of having too many issues on the table for consideration.

In order for this technique to be successful, there are key steps that must be followed as stated in the article, "What Needs May Be" by Kim, Siegenthaler and Kevin Riley.

The first step is selecting the participants. If there will be many participants, individuals are to be separated into smaller groups. All participants are given paper and pencil for writing down their concerns.

The second step is for the participants to brainstorm individually. The participants are given a single question to address regarding the subject of the meeting. The group is asked to write down their thoughts in short answer without sharing them with the group.

The third step is for someone to act as the recorder to jot down the ideas as they are read aloud in a round-robin. In order to encourage teamwork, participants sit facing each other in a circle. Each participant reads aloud one of their concerns and the recorder writes down their issue on a large piece of paper for all in the room to see.

The fourth step is to assign a letter grade to each concern and duplicates are removed. Once all participants have read aloud their concerns, the items are ranked according to importance, 5 being the most important and 1 the least.

The fifth step starts discussions on the items and during this process, the items go through another ranking to finalize those issues of highest importance. This process eliminates concerns of little importance and highlights the issues that truly demand the attention of the group.

The sixth and final step is to discuss in detail the remaining items without the intrusion of invalid issues clouding the judgment of the group members.

This process alleviates the chance of someone not having a say in the decision-making and brainstorming process. The NGT technique opens the door for creativity and problem resolution without fear of criticism and in my opinion, encourages teamwork and team-building.

Throughout this essay paper, the benefits of critical thinking, decision-making and the nominal group technique have been discussed with supporting documentation. The above proves that evaluating a situation, sometimes in a group environment, without hastily making decisions proves to provide more insight, creativity and team-building opportunities that lead to a stronger and single-minded successful organization.

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Essay on Fate

Essay on Fate

What's your Fate?
When it comes to fate there are two types of people, those who believe in it and those who don't. The people who don't believe in it often don't because they don't like to think that they don't have control over there life, when in all reality they do have control. For example, we are all going to die, there is no changing that, but we can sometimes change when, or how we die. To help explain myself I'm going to look at the role of fate in Sophocles play, Antigone.

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In this play every character is given a determined fate, but they are also given several choices that they can make as individuals. By making those choices they're determining their destiny. When they determine their destiny there are consequences that they must live with, sometimes they are good and sometimes they are bad. In Antigone the role of fate comes into play when Teresias foresees the death of Haeman in his speech to Creon. Teresias says, "You shall have given a son of your own loins to death, in payment for death". This occurs after Creon has made the decision not to bury the body of Antigone's brother, Polynices; he then makes a law stating that anybody who attempts to bury him shall be sentenced to death. That in turn sets in effect the decision of Antigone to bury her brother, which leads up to her getting caught in the act by Creon's servants. From this point on a domino like affect takes place leading up to the deaths of Antigone, Eurydice (Creon's wife), and Haeman.

Now for the explanation of destiny and fate in this play. Creon chooses his destiny by not burying the body, his fate then becomes the consequences of his destiny. Creon's fate develops into him having to live through the deaths of his son and wife. After Creon sends Antigone off to be killed and his son has proclaimed his love for Antigone, Creon realizes that he has made a major mistake. He understands that his actions have been much too harsh for the crime Antigone committed and that he may lose the love of his son if he doesn't try to correct his mistakes. The only problem is that Creon realizes his mistakes all too late and he now must suffer the consequences of his destiny. When Antigone is killed Haeman arrives to see her body still hanging from the rope and then vengefully kills himself in front of Creon. Then when Creon returns home he arrives to see his wife has also slain herself after she learned of Antigone and Haeman.

You see that the predicted fate of Haeman comes through in the end despite the attempts of Creon to correct his mistakes. It was predicted that Haeman was to die and that's what happened. In this play you get the impression that Sophocles is trying to say that you can pick and choose your destiny and set up your own fate but once you've committed to your fate you can't change it. I draw this conclusion about Sophocles because he also writes of a similar scenario in Oedipus Rex.

In Oedipus Rex King Laius and his wife had a child named Oedipus. In this play there is also a prophet who goes by the name Apollo, and Apollo gives and oracle about Oedipus saying that "he (Oedipus) is destined to one day kill his father, and become his own mother's wife". Well the king could not live with this possibility and had a servant nail Oedipus feet together and leave him in the mountains to die. But once again fate comes through and everything thing that was predicted about Oedipus comes true.

By reading this two plays you get the inkling that Sophocles is telling us that there are some things in life that you just don't have any control over. We've all heard the story of the boy and girl who grew up next to each other and fell in love and proclaimed to one another that they would always be together, that they were made for each other and so on. Then after high school they go away to different colleges and end up meeting different people and never get back together. What most people would say to that is that they "just weren't meant to be together". That is the same as saying their fate was to move away and find other people and despite all the attempts people make to stay together and always love each other if it's not their fate to be with that person then there isn't much they can do about it.

In the end I get the feeling that you can't change fate. Destiny is different, you can change your destiny, and I do things everyday that changes my destiny. When I made the choice to go to college so that I could get a well paying job to make money I picked my destiny, but if my fate is to die poor then I believe that no matter how much money I make when my time comes I will die poor.

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Friday, April 29, 2011

Essay on the Scopes "Monkey" Trial

The Scopes Trial Essay

Followers of the history of the twentieth century will no doubt disagree with the claim that the media circus surrounding O.J Simpson in the mid 1990's was the "trial of the century", in favor of a trial that debated concepts along higher lines of human thought, namely, Darwin's theories of evolution versus creationism.

The Scopes "Monkey" Trial, which occurred in Dayton, TN in 1925, pitted two great American orators and two sides of thought against each other in a debate of pure science against literal religious beliefs, and modernity against traditional conservative views. The effects from this trial have been so great that the ideas presented and issues raised continue to resonate and remain controversial seventy-five years later. To the American mind, the Scopes Trial is the most recent and vivid example of the frequent incompatibility of science and religion. And as science continues to advance, new controversies appear daily to reaffirm that what Pope John Paul II called the "two realms of knowledge" often make strange bedfellows when procedures in fields like medicine, biology, and genetics are introduced that give new meaning to the creation and mortality of life. These are big questions, and thus it makes sense that the controversies of today were set in motion by a controversy that began nearly 400 years ago because of the same conflict between science and religion. If the Scopes "Monkey" Trial is known as The Trial of the Twentieth Century, then the conflict between Galileo and the Catholic Church can be seen as The Trial of Four Centuries, for the outcome and implications have affected the development of our view of our place in the universe until the present.

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According to Hetherington, Galileo's trial and condemnation by the Inquisition in 1633 "seriously impeded the rise of scientific cosmology". This is true in that for about 200 years science for Catholic astronomers was required to be treated as "theory" rather than fact, and books teaching of the Earth's motion remained banned until 1757, among other impediments that caused science in the Catholic tradition to be seen as inferior to the work of those who did not have to contend with Rome. Because of the actions of the Catholic Church, it is thus "religion rather than philosophy that has come to be regarded as the chief early obstacle to modern science". However, Hetherington asserts that this is an untrue view of the situation. The finer details of the spirit of the times, the popular philosophy of the day, the religious and cultural mindset of the day, legal confusions, and Galileo's own difficult personality, among other factors, all combined to make the Galileo affair much more complex than a matter of one party being solely to blame. However, because the case was not clear-cut and easily resolved, it has negatively impacted the Catholic Church for nearly 400 years. Ignorance of the true nature of the accusations and the wrongs attributed to each side has further compounded a negative view of the Church. So with closure, favorable public opinion, and a genuine desire to look at facts in search of truth in mind, Pope John Paul II appointed a committee in 1981 to open and examine Galileo's case.

Cardinal Poupard, the head of this committee, presented its findings in a report to the Pope in 1992. In his opening statements, Poupard explains that the aim of the committee was "to reply to the expectations of the world of science and culture regarding the Galileo question, to rethink this whole question, with complete fidelity to established historical facts and in conformity with the teachings and the culture of the times and to recognize honestly-the rights and wrong, regardless of their source." This statement is bursting with the meaning of the large task the Church undertook, to in effect make up for four centuries of ill will in the intelligent, civilized world by examining the events of the past in the spirit of cultural relativism and scientific and historical fact. This objective is calm and rational, with an emphasis on truth without blame, and proceeds in a logical matter.

Poupard first examines the question of whether Copernican astronomy was irrefutably true at the time of the trial. As Cardinal Bellermine said, if it were true, it would then be necessary to re-examine relevant Scriptural passages and "say that we do not understand them, rather than to say that what is demonstrated is false." This is evidence that the Catholic Church never absolutely refused to accept Galileo's ideas. But since it was not until 150 years after Galileo that the "optical and mechanical proofs for the motion of the Earth were discovered" and the theory thus made irrefutable, this examination of Scripture could not take place in 1633.

Poupard then admits how the scientific truths eventually showed the "relative character" of Galileo's sentence, and defends the subsequent actions of the Church as it granted an imprimatur to Galileo's work in 1741, removed books on heliocentric theory from the Index in 1757, and endorsed Copernicanism as a thesis in all works on the subject in 1822.

Poupard makes his main point when he ascribes the problems with the "then new theories" as a result of a "transitional situation in the field of astronomical knowledge and of an exegetical confusion regarding cosmology." He defends the church in terms of the times it was in, a time far different from our own, where minds were firmly entrenched in old beliefs about the nature of the world and the literal interpretation of Scripture. Because the intellectual and religious climate of the times was not ready to accept Galileo's propositions, he was made to suffer.

Poupard's main defense of the Church's actions against Galileo in terms of historical context is truthful. That the earth was the fixed center of the universe was the dominant idea since ancient times. Both Aristotle and certain Biblical passages supported it, and Aristotle and the Bible were the dominant authorities in intellectual and religious life, which were the two fields that mattered to those in power. Galileo's first conflicts over his theories were with professors of philosophy who taught physics in strict Aristotelian sense and received his ideas with animosity. In fact, powerful members of the Church sided with Galileo on certain issues. According to Hetherington, "Professors of philosophy unanimously opposed Galileo's science; high officials of the Catholic Church did not". This again refutes the idea that the Church was dedicated to staying in scientific ignorance.

Pope John Paul II defends the Church against the myth of its being "opposed to the free search for truth" by also citing Bellarmine's concession that the Bible can be open to interpretation, along with Pope Leo XIII's assertion that "truth cannot contradict truth", so mistakes in interpretation are possible, and St. Augustine's belief that if Scripture does not correspond with a certain fact, the person interpreting it does not correctly understand the Scripture, and is forcing his own wrong meaning onto it.

The Pope also defends Galileo as a "sincere believer" who "showed himself to be more perceptive in this regard than the theologians who opposed him," on the question of the necessity of literal Scripture interpretation which Galileo addressed in his letter to Madame Christina. This praise from the Pope affirms Galileo's correctness and also apologizes for the theologians who were unable to separate science from Scripture and found it necessary to condemn him. The Pope saw Galileo as more advanced than the theologians because his study of natural phenomena demanded also a "clarification on the part of all disciplines of knowledge". He knew how to synthesize more aspects of the world than the theologians, who were still confined to their narrow views of literal Scripture interpretation and accepted geocentric cosmology. So although they were wrong to condemn him, the theologians were unable to do otherwise as products of their period in time. The Pope describes it as a "question of knowing how to judge a new scientific datum when it seems to contradict the truths of faith", and acknowledges how difficult a task this is after centuries of a certain way of thinking. He manages to admit the wrong committed but is able to qualify it as inevitable, given the time period. It is difficult to find fault with this logic, for when has any event ever happened that has not been a product of its time and environment?

Interestingly, the web site "The Galileo Affair - A Catholic Perspective" describes Galileo as a person who refused to compromise, and would make no allowance for human nature. Perhaps the Pope even apologizes too much for Galileo if he also refused to see that it is not easy for people to immediately forsake their accustomed view of the universe for something that seems to go against both common sense and the Bible.

As a whole, Pope John Paul II's statement is well informed, fair, logical, and adequate. He apologizes because he knows it is necessary, for clarification of the events of the case was at least due in 1835 when Galileo's "Dialogue" no longer appeared on the Index of Prohibited Books. The Church did err in the Galileo case, but much of the blame placed on it was due to myth and ignorance. The Pope explains this and admits the error of the Inquisitors by wisely examining the "cultural, philosophical, and theological context of the 17th century." Cultural relativism is a more effective tool than blind supposition or conciliatory accusation. It is unnecessary for the Pope to make any ashamed reparations in this case to any critics in the past or future, for the task of re-examining, not re-trying; the case was accomplished with grace and acceptance of the irrefutable argument of the fallibility of man and the infallibility of Truth. He speaks of the importance of reconciling the two realms of knowledge to add harmony to the world and to work against the "disorder that affects the human condition". Ending with a quote by Einstein and a look into the future of science, the Pope shows himself to be a foresighted, wise head of a modernizing church that is on the side of science and committed to the most fundamental goal of science, the pursuit and discovery of truth.

In the sister case of science vs. religion three centuries later, Clarence Darrow finally defeated William Jennings Bryan in the courtroom when he forced him to admit that the six days the world was created in perhaps were not made up of 24 hour days, thus saying that not everything in the Bible should be taken literally. Darrow also could have used evidence from the 17th century to make his point. The similarity of the cases points to the permanence of the question of reconciling science and religion. Both cases occurred in transitional periods in history when new thinkers and ideas were changing the established social and religious order; Galileo's case in the incredible Renaissance era where every field was enriched, and the Scopes case in the tumultuous decade of the 1920's when the traditional conservative, religious side struggled against the beginnings of the modern world as we know it today. In both times people struggled with giving up established ideas. Just as people did not want to give up their place as the still, center of the Aristotelian universe in Galileo's time, people in the beginning of the twentieth century found it much more comforting to believe Genesis than to accept the random chance of evolution and a less-favored place in the universe. Humans are naturally self-centered and we want to believe in our superiority.

Here is Clarence Darrow's closing argument in the Scopes Trial, which is interesting both for its non-acknowledgement of a major case like the Galileo affair and for how he sums up a main point made in the Galileo case, the necessity of separating science and Scripture. "Events come along as they come along. I think this case will be remembered because it is the first case of this sort since we stopped trying people in America for witchcraft because here we have done our best to turn back the tide that has sought to force itself upon this modern world, of testing every fact in science by a religious dictum. That is all I care to say."

I wonder what Darrow would say if he knew that 75 years later the teaching of evolution was still debated, for in 1999 the state of Kansas actually voted to remove references to evolution in its textbooks. Thus the conflict between science and religion continues, and will continue, as long as science continues to evolve.

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Essay on Christabel by Coleridge

Essay on "Christabel" as a Fairy Tale

What are the traits of a fairy tale? Usually, fairy tales are focused around a particular female main character whose one wish is for her beloved knight or prince to come rescue her. Sorcery and magic are always involved in the tales we know and love. In Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem, Christabel, the resemblance to a fairy tale is uncanny. Perhaps Coleridge did not have intentions of his readers thinking of Christabel as a fairy tale, however, the poem was never finished meaning that the outcome consists in the writers mind. The qualities that sum up a fairy tale are evident in Christabel: a princess, her knight, the conniving temptress or sorceress, as well as the setting. Even if this poem was not intended on being a fairy tale, it shares a considerable amount of the same characteristics a fairy tale has.

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The opening lines of the poem start out with laying out the setting for the readers to grasp the feeling of the moment. It is midnight in Lansdale Castle and everyone is asleep except for Christabel. "Tis the middle of night by the castle clock". Most of the main events in a fairy tale happen around the midnight hour. It just so happens that the very first line goes straight to the point. The home of the fair lady being a castle makes one assume that she is someone of nobility. Christabel is walking in the woods alone thinking of her knight when she decides to pray by a tree. All of a sudden Geraldine appears from behind the tree and her beauty overwhelms Christabel. "I guess, was frightful there to see/ A lady so richly clad as she--/ Beautiful exceedingly!". Geraldine tells Christabel that she was kidnapped and taken into the woods by five men. Geraldine's beauty as well was the sympathy that her story provides is enough to make Christabel want to take her home. It almost seems that Geraldine tricked the wandering princess with her beauty and story. In a sense, this resembles the apple given to Snow White.

One situation that is evident in almost every fairy tale known to man is one of paternal or maternal love. Sir Leoline, Christabel's father, finds Geraldine to be very attractive. Geraldine puts a spell on Sir Leoline so he does not see the evil that is within her. At this moment in the poem, a bond is broken between father and daughter as Sir Leoline falls for the seductive Geraldine. Christabel tries to warn her father but it is too late. An example of this is seen in the tale of Cinderella. Cinderella's father is taken away from her leaving her with her two step mother and two step sisters. Cinderella is forbidden to go anywhere because her step mother is afraid that someone will see her beauty. Christabel is silenced because Geraldine is afraid that She could get her father out of his trance.

For most people, a fairy tale is quite enjoyable as well as easy to understand. Most Romantic poetry is quite difficult to understand except for this particular poem. It almost seems as if Coleridge could have purposely put fairy tale motifs in Christabel for his readers. Fairy tales spark imaginations and reach out to all different ages of people. Maybe that is what Coleridge was thinking when he wrote Christabel. Just as fairy tales are remembered, Coleridge's purpose was probably to have his poem remembered in the same sense.

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Essay on Foreign Debt

Foreign Debt Essay

Good morning ladies and gentlemen. Today I will be speaking to you on a topic that many Australians believe the government should start taking a lot more seriously. Our foreign debt.

Australia's level of foreign debt is a key economic indicator and one which is widely quoted in the media today. But before we get into what the problems dealing with this issue we must first define exactly what it is, and how it is calculated.

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Foreign debt or commonly referred to as external debt can in simple terms be described as the amount of money owed to overseas countries by groups in an economy. There are three main ways of measuring a countries foreign debt. Gross foreign debt is the total amount owed by Australians to overseas lenders. Net foreign debt is equal to gross foreign debt minus amounts of money that overseas investors owe Australia. This figure gives a better indication of Australia's debt situation as it takes in account what we are owed ourselves. The last, and probably most accurate measure, can be calculated my taking the Net Foreign Debt as a percentage of our Gross Domestic Product.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics latest figures, Australia's net foreign debt for the September quarter stood at $300.7b or 45.6% of the Gross Domestic Product, up nearly 16%, on the same time the previous year. This is the equivalent of about $16,000 for every man, woman and child in the country. In comparison to other countries, foreign debt in the US represents only around 20 per cent of GDP. Australia's level of debt has grown at a steady rate since the early 1990's. However a slump in business investment in this last quarter, a fall of 5.2% in private capital expenditure, a key factor in calculating economic growth, and a falling exchange rate, has set economic alarm bells ringing.

The main cause of Australia's foreign debt is the large Current Account deficits we ring up each year. In the 1980's, when our foreign debt increased seven-fold our current account deficits were largely cause by out excessive levels of spending on imports. But main cause of Australia's Current Account deficits in the 1990's have been the huge amount of interest to be paid on the foreign debt that already exists. Australia had to borrow more money from overseas just to keep up with these interest payments. This has created a vicious circle of debt that we are now trapped in.

Most of Australia's foreign debt is owed by companies and governments, and they are responsible for paying it off. We as consumers owe very little of the foreign debt, but even so, it dramatically affects every one of us. In the late 1980's and early 1990's Australians had their first taste of the serious effects of foreign debt. In the late 1980's our Current Account deficit was rising so quickly that the government decided that it was imperative that they take action. The method chosen by the government to use was the monetary policy to boost interest rates. When interest rates are high consumers are discouraged from borrowing money to spend on imports. But these high interest rates also put a lot of consumers and businesses heavily into debt. As a result, they cut back their spending, not only on imports but on locally made products as well. With spending down, suppliers began laying off workers and cutting production and soon the country was in the grips of a recession, with close to one million people unemployed.

Economists have different theories about how to solve out Foreign Debt crisis. However it is widely accepted that Australia must reduce its Current Account deficits, and try to turn them into Current Account surpluses. But achieving Current Account surpluses is more easily said than done. To succeed, Australia needs to boost exports and reduce our imports. The government is following this theory through a group of policies called microeconomic reforms. These policies are targeted at boosting efficiency in Australian businesses, which would in turn reduce the cost of producing goods and services. This would make Australian exports more competitive on the world market and give local industries and edge over imports.

Another approach, and the one which I personally believe is the answer to our crisis, is to encourage Australian households to save more. Currently the government charges us on all deposits into accounts. With our huge foreign debt, why are we being slugged for putting money away? The government should be introducing tax breaks for those who can save a certain amount of money each year. Maybe then people will not spend all of the money that comes into their pockets. All these savings would make it much easier for Australian firms to borrow money locally rather than having to seek it overseas.

The disheartening thing about these facts, is that unlike a country such as Japan, here in Australia we have enormous natural resources, enormous agricultural capacity and we have an educated and experienced workforce. We produce more of everything than we need, more wheat, more beef, more coal, more timber, and more steel. Other countries should be indebted to us and the fact that we are so far in debt when we live in a land so plentiful is a terrible indictment on successive governments.

We need to re-educate Australians such as you and I to save instead of borrow and also to concentrate on the efficient industries of Australia. If we can stop thinking of the present and instead think of the future of Australia, foreign debt can be controlled.

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Essay on Darkness

Essay on Darkness

The play Macbeth by William Shakespeare is a tragedy in which great imagery and themes bring real life qualities to his characters. Particularly the theme of darkness, develops by vivid imagery, characterizes Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. To set the atmosphere of darkness, the characters convey it through their actions. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are not evil to begin with, but there lies a potential for evil within them. The potential sets free by the series of murders committed by the duo. Lady Macbeth and Macbeth curse themselves when they call upon darkness to cover their appalling deeds, which then leads to an inner darkness.

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Macbeth's first encounter in Act 1 with the witches releases the darkness within him. The witches in their evil way prompt Macbeth's ambition to be king. Banquo calls the weird sisters "instruments of darkness," (Act 1, Scene 4, Line 124) but Macbeth still decides to take their advice. They plant the thought in him that he could be king if Duncan dies. The imagery conveyed during the witches scenes is darkness. In Act 1, Scene 3, Act 3, Scene 4, and in Act 4, Scene 1 it is thundering. The thunder stirs up the evil released.

Like the witches, Lady Macbeth also has a role in releasing the dark ambitions of Macbeth as well. Macbeth is very reluctant to react on his instincts to kill Duncan. Lady Macbeth is able to ease Macbeth's nerves, and convinces Macbeth that it is in his best interests to kill Duncan. Lady Macbeth, full of ambition for her husband, knows darkness must cover their crimes. She calls upon the night as an aid. "Come, thick night, and pall thee dunnest smoke of hell/ nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark." (Act 1, Scene 5, Lines 50-53) At several times in the play Macbeth invokes the night as well, a universal symbol of evil. Macbeth says, "Let not light see my black and deep desires."(Act 1 Scene 4, Lines 51) Once the potential for darkness of Macbeth releases, he depends on it to help him with his deeds. The night of the murder of King Duncan, Macbeth calls on the night to hide his evil doings. Shakespeare emphasizes this when he sets the mood through a comment made by Banquo. "...There's husbandry in heaven, / their candles are all out..." (Act II, Scene 1, Lines 6-7) The dark night in other words, reflects the dark desires of Macbeth.

Macbeth desires to be king. After Macbeth succeeds the first time, by going against his conscience, Macbeth is confident in killing others now. He turns his nature of being dark. Macbeth, known as a tyrant during his reign on the throne, becomes numb to all emotion. Macbeth losses all respect for the lives of his people. He becomes selfish at the expense of his own people. Killing is no longer a moral issue with Macbeth. He impulsively kills Banquo and Macduff's family with no remorse. Macbeth is out of control; darkness has taken over his soul.

This potential of darkness in which Macbeth and his wife inflict upon themselves embodies their persona. Macbeth only realizes the consequences of his actions when it is too late. He feels lonely to a point where he views dying as an escape from his friendless and joyless life. Similar to Lady Macbeth who chooses death as an escape from her guilt of the murders committed that haunted her as she slept. She ends up committing suicide most likely because she could not handle the torment of her conscience any longer. The darkness that takes form in both of these characters naturally leads to their internal destructions. The Elizabethan's "Natural Order of Things" serves as justice at the end of the play diminishing the presence of all forms of evil from the throne and restoring the rightful heir.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Essay on Sickle Cell Anemia

Sickle Cell Anemia Essay Paper

I have had sickle cell anemia since I was a child. I grew up like most other kids. I would sometimes take the medication "hydroxyurea". This medication helps me to cope with some of the pain that I experience. This pain happens when some of my red blood cells get stuck and have trouble traveling through my blood vessels. This happens because of my disease.

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Sickle cell anemia is an inherited disease. It affects some of your red blood cells by making them shaped abnormally. While normal red blood cells are round, Sickle cell anemia causes some of my red blood cells to be shaped like a sickle, or other deformed shapes. The doctors discovered that I had this disorder by performing "Hemoglobin electrophoresis". This disease does not affect me mentally. The abnormally shaped blood cells contain "Hemoglobin S". The red blood cells contain a lot of the oxygen that the body needs, and the abnormally shaped blood cells have more trouble carrying the oxygen. The only way to truly cure my disease is through a bone marrow transplant, which replaces the factory in my body, which produces red blood cells.

Most people at my school know that I have this disease, even though I haven't told them. I feel that people who talk to me and know I have this disorder try to be nicer to me or treat me differently just because I have this condition. Although I know that they are not really trying to do this, or they really are trying to treat me normally, this treatment sometimes gets annoying. Although I know this could work to my advantage, the treatment of people always giving me the benefit of the doubt about most things, can also grow annoying. I think it's stupid for people to automatically believe me when I say that I didn't do something wrong, when I easily could have. My attitude toward life is probably a little better than the average person. Because I have realized the possibility that I could very-well die, I believe that I take life a little more seriously and less for granted than other people do. I only wish that I could try to enlighten other people's mind-sat towards this more healthy attitude and point of view. Having this disorder has not really changed my finances, time, goals or education from that of any other persons.

My relationships with God, family and friends is probably more close than other people just because I know that I have this disease which could make me die earlier than the average persons, and I would like to get the most I could out of my life with them. I would like a person to treat me as they would anyone else, which seems to be hard for them for reasons I can not understand. I sometimes get depressed about having this disease. When this happens, I usually just recognize that the majority of people are "normal", and I have a very interesting life story, and because I am not "normal", I am a very unique person, with a great outlook on life. I do have a right to life, medical insurance, and treatment because I am pretty much the same as any other person, I have just got a small physical handicap which I was born with. I did nothing to deserve this disorder. This difference in my life has had some good things come out of it like my outlook on life. Things I do differently are mostly things I have already mentioned, like taking less for granted. Taking life for granted less makes me think of other things I could potentially take for granted. Being thankful and more appreciative for these things I think makes me a better person.

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My SAT Score Essay

SAT Score Essay Sample

It's hard to believe that after four years of high school, one three-hour session in a classroom could have more meaning than the other 1460 days that are spent in a high school classroom. Yet that's what I found in the process of reaching college. The Standardized Aptitude Test, more commonly known as the SAT's plays a major role in the acceptance or rejection from college. It is absurd that this three hour test is the deciding factor for the future of students. It is much more important that colleges look at your high school grades. Looking at these grades will show the admissions how much effort the student puts into schoolwork.

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Last year, as a high school senior, I applied to twelve schools. I applied to so many due to the fact that standards of schools vary from year to year. My number one choice was the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. I had always wanted to go there since my older cousins went there and raved about what a remarkable school it was. I did not have a tutor or attend any prep classes for the SAT's since my parents did not feel the courses were necessary. I looked over a few practice exams so that the test would be familiar to me. I came out with an 1150, a score which I was certainly proud of, being that I had no preparation. Now I knew that Michigan would definitely be a reach for me to get into. I had a 3.5(93) GPA in high school, and a strong list of outside activities that I participated in. My SAT score was the only thing that would bring me down. I sent my applications out early since admission at U of M is rolling. Within a few weeks I received a letter saying that I was deferred, meaning that I was still in consideration, and my application would be reviewed at a later date. A few months later I received the rejection letter.

I knew Michigan would be a reach for me, but I figured that since my GPA was high, that maybe my SATs wouldn't weigh as much on their decision. I was devastated, and became very angered at the fact that I did not make the school of my dreams because of this one 3-hour test. From this I concluded that the SAT's are a poor representation of intelligence.

There are many reasons why the SAT is a biased test. Some people may be able to afford tutors and prep classes for the test, which puts them at an unfair advantage. I know that many of my friends met with tutors since junior year. The tutor came to their houses once a week at a cost anywhere from 60 to 150 dollars per hour. The students that possessed this luxury did very well on the SAT. One of my friends went up 400 points from the PSAT. So in this aspect the test favors wealthy people.

SAT scores are gapped between different groups of people. According to Jack Marks of the Daily Report Card newspaper, "Students in the three categories of Hispanic or Latino backgrounds also lagged behind the average on both the math and verbal sections". Another gap exists between urban and suburban scores. Average SAT scores in the suburbs are above the national average and rising, while scores in urban and rural areas are falling further below the average, according to the College Board." "The gap between Whites and Latinos was sixty points a decade ago, and has increased to sixty-seven points in the year 2000. There is an even larger gap between Whites and African-Americans." "In 1990, there was a ninety-one-point gap, which also increased to a ninety-four-point gap in 2000. In addition to those racial gaps, there is a large gender gap as well".Though women generally receive higher grades in school, men repeatedly do better on both sections of the SAT's (Weiner, 95)."

The test does not assess information that the students have learned in school. It also only tests two subject areas out of the many that students may be strong in. The standardized test is justified for the fact that it levels out the playing field for all high school students. It is true that students GPA's can be affected by different things, such as easy or hard teachers, or how teachers evaluate their students. Therefore a test is needed that can equalize all students. I propose to do away with the SAT I, and make students take the SAT which are subject based tests that are optional. This is a much better way to asses the students. It will enable admissions counselors to see how much effort they put into studying, and preparing for the test, and how knowledgeable the student is in the subject. This would certainly be a more effective way of evaluating the students, because it is on material that has recently been covered in school, which is the same way that college exams work. The SAT I tests some subject matter, which is never covered in school. For example, the analogy section of the verbal part. It doesn't matter how many vocabulary words you memorize, because there are over a billion words in the English dictionary, any of which can be on the test. As for the math section, most of the concepts in it were last covered in 8th or 9th grade. By giving the SAT II students will be able to I now attend The Pennsylvania State University, number 45 for academics in the country according to US News and World Report. It is a great school, and I am very happy here. I still wish I would have been accepted to the University of Michigan, which is number 25 for academics in the country according to US News and World Report, but my credentials didn't meet their standards. After contacting your admissions counselors I became aware of the fact that I was not accepted because of my SAT score. This news upset me because maybe if I had a tutor or taken a class I would have been accepted. I hope that you will take my suggestion into consideration. You will be missing out on some very intelligent students that would benefit your institution.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Essay on Dream House

Essay on Dream House

My dream is to live in a big detached house surrounded by a big garden full of flowers and trees. I wouldn't like to live in an apartment with blocks of flats and rude neighbors making noise in the middle of the night. My dream house should be located outside the city, on the outskirts of town where I can find true peace and happiness. Therefore, my dream house should have the characteristics that represent my spiritual world and personality with its location as well as its inner and outer design.

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From my point of view, the location of my dream house is very important and the surroundings and the position of a house should be carefully considered. I've always been fascinated by rivers and the sound of the birds in the mornings. I'd feel positive and lively if I was woken up by the sound of doves perched on the branches of the trees. In this respect, I imagine my dream house near a flowing river, built in the countryside. It would be located in such a place that I could find fresh water and air. In addition, my house's position would enable me to have as many pets as possible since a large garden with enough space would provide shelter for them. Also, I'd like my dream house to be near to the city centre so that I might go to big shopping malls with my car if I needed to. As a matter of fact, peace and harmony combined with nature would be the basic feature of the location of my dream house with its closeness to the city for emergency situations and supplying the necessities.

My dream house's interior design should be carefully planned because I believe that beauty lies within the details. Consequently, I'd like it to have a big, spacious hall since it is the first place that you see as you come in through the front door. At the end of the hall, there would be a staircase leading upstairs. I'd like to decorate the walls of the hall with famous artist's reproductions of still life paintings. For me, these paintings would give person feelings of relaxation and serenity. The first room on the right would be the living-room which is quite large and full of light. Day light is essential for me so I'd like to have big windows in the living room. A door from the living room would lead to a small study where I could write, read books and work on my assignments. This small room would make me feel calm and attentive so I could focus my attention to my projects. Upstairs there would be bedroom and bathroom. Also, my bedroom would reflect my inner world and privacy so it would be painted with my favorite color which is blue. My view is that blue is the color that represents my feelings of harmony and peace. In short I can say that, the interior of my dream house is like my spiritual world so I'd decorate it in such a way that all the rooms, objects and colors would symbolize my true feelings.

The outer design of my dream house should be attractively decorated as much as the interior because I prefer to spend time outdoors. I desire to have magnificent gardens surrounding my house. The front garden should be full of flowers, bushes and fruit trees. The scent of flowers and fruit trees mixed in the air reminds me of heavenly moments filled with happiness and joy. The back garden should be very large so that I can have a lawn with a swimming pool. In addition, there would be another lawn which comes up to the patio. There would also be a flower bed near the back door and a path leading to the garden shed and the greenhouse, where I'd like to grow my own tomatoes, green peppers, parsleys, eggplants. Besides, there would be a large cage filled with different species of birds like peacocks or parrots. I'd let the door of the cage be open all the time for freedom is very important for me. Birds would come into the cage whenever they want to feed themselves. Watching colorful birds flying above my head while swimming in the pool would be a fantastic experience. Since the outside of my dream house would let me be alone with nature and fill my soul with peace and quietness, its design is very important and attentively arranged.

In my opinion, each person has a dream house that continues to remain on his mind as long as he lives. Places we spend our life is very significant because our moods are affected by the design and the location. If we live in a place filled with noise, chaos and air pollution our feelings would tend to be negative. On the contrary, if we live in a place close to the serenity of nature, our minds, bodies and spirits will be filled with positive energies. That's why I'd like my dream house be located on the outskirts of a city, encircled with flowers, trees and birds. Likewise, we either feel relaxed or tenser inside our homes. If the interior design and colors used arise feelings of anger or anxiety we will be unhappy and depressed in our houses. Therefore, I prefer to plan interior of my dream house to give me feelings of relaxation and joy. In conclusion, everything about my dream house would reflect my feelings, thoughts and my personality so when you step in my house, you would, in a way, get into my inner world.

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Dolphin Communication Essay

Essay about Dolphins and its Communication

By studying the communication systems of other animal species, scientists and researchers all over the world hope to better understand how we as humans can better utilize our own systems to improve communication. Although humans are accustomed to using the auditory and optical channel for communication, there is much to learn about how we can use our other senses as well to communicate. If we continue the studies on animals that use other methods of communication, we can better understand how we can advance our own methods of communication. For example, by studying animals that rely on their sense of touch, maybe we can develop more efficient methods for the blind to communicate.

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The mentally challenged people may be restricted from living a normal life simply because he has, in a way, his own world of communication. It is possible that there are ways to reach these kinds of people through other means of communication. For instance, the sense of touch is a much more primitive than other channels, so that a simpler system of coding and decoding information may be possible. This is just one of the ways that the communication barrier can be broken down so that we can communicate with these people. Another instance in which other forms of communication are crucial is when humans leave Earth's atmosphere. As we move further into outer space, it will be increasingly necessary to develop other forms of communication, as there is limited hearing and sight in space. Overall, knowledge about other means of communication could aid anyone who lacks in a certain sense.

Further research of other ways of communication is obviously important for communication opportunities that can benefit humans, but what about everything we already know? It has been proven that dolphins are especially intelligent and social animals, and in many instances have been known to socialize with humans. We can use this interesting trait to our advantage by utilizing the tremendous intelligence of the dolphins in many aspects of our lives.

One instance in which humans can use dolphins to our advantage is for therapeutic reasons. Dolphins are used in numerous aquariums as therapy for physically handicapped and emotionally damaged children. The child is put in the water with a floating device, and by allowing the dolphin to push its limbs and body around the pool, the child's nerves are stimulated, thus making it easier for the child to move naturally on his own. For mentally and emotionally damaged kids, simply being with the friendly and fun-loving dolphins provides a extraordinary response from the children. The animals seem to sense the children have special needs, and researchers have found that the company the dolphins provide to the children actually increase the kids quality of life.

Dolphins have also been known to occasionally socialize with humans in the wild as well. In Brazil, a group of dolphins has cooperatively hunted with fisherman for many years. The fishermen throw out their fishing nets far into the ocean. Then the dolphins chase the nets back to the boat and eat any fish that escape.

The one thing all communication has in common is that its purpose is to convey information. The type of information that needs to be communicated varies from animal to animal. The honeybee uses an extremely interesting and unique way of communicating with its fellow worker bees. When a honeybee finds a source for nectar, it flies back to the hive to get the others. To tell them where the location is of the nectar, they wiggle their bodies and buzz their wings in a figure-eight shape. The speed of the wiggle and the angle of the body tells the others the distance and direction of the nectar. In 1989 a group of European researchers wanted to see if they could communicate to the bees a location of nectar that the bees had never visited before. To do this, they built a robotic bee made of brass and wax. This model bee could buzz its wings, wiggle its body, and even pick up drops of nectar. Using a computer to control the bee, the scientists made the bee do the "wiggle-dance" to see if the real bees would find the target of nectar they had set up. Not only did the bees follow the lead of the robotic bee, but the researchers found they could use the robot to send the bees to any location. The experiment was a success, and the scientists concluded that since the robotic bee never actually visited any of the targets, the "wiggle dance" does communicate direction and distance.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Essay on Dying Patient

Essay about Dying Patient

Comforting a dying patient is very important. The person is to be comforted not only physically but also spiritually and emotionally. Doing this is not an easy task. There are times that not all of these aspects can be comforted and a dying person may die with pain, guilt, unresolved issues or questions about life.

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The first and most important issue with a dying person is physical comfort. Pain is the biggest problem with a person. If pain is not resolved, it will cause secondary problems such as anxiety. There are many physicians that do not increase medication dosages because they think that the person is not near death or that it can suppress the persons' respirations. An example of this is morphine. If morphine is given to a person who has respiratory problems, this can suppress the persons' respirations and he/she can die. Some people may call this malpractice and others may call this euthanasia.

Another problem with physical comfort is that a person may be bed bound due to the dying process and may develop contractures or bedsores. These contractures or bed sores may cause pain and problems with comfort. Turning and propping the person on pillows and also massaging the reddened or sore areas on the body can prevent this.

One other problem an individual may have while dying is the use of tube feedings for anorexia and other life sustaining measures. These measures may prolong the life of a dying person, which may not be necessary. If a person decides he/she does not want to eat, a feeding tube such as a peg tube may sustain the life of a person who would rather die.

Spiritual comfort may be necessary for the dying individual. This can be helpful in asking questions about life and its purpose, to find God and reconcile with friends/family. There are many people who do not get spiritual healing during life or even during the dying process. These people may die with anger, remorse, guilt, or even in need of knowing God loves them and will take care of them. Emotional support is the last comfort. This is given to the dying individuals who need help coping with their issues and with grieving. There are many people who die alone and without any support or anyone to care and love them at the end of their life. This happens many times at a hospital. There could be a patient who is dying and this person has no one to care for them that are relatives of friends. The nurses' bathe him/her and care for him/her, but she/he cannot be in the room with the person at all times. This person is ready to pass, but may pass alone because the nurse is just too busy to be in there at the time.

All of these comfort and supports may help a dying individual die with respect, love and dignity. The body, soul and mind need to be taken care of during the dying process to be comfortable.

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Essay on Dragons

Essay on Dragons

Dragons are large reptilian creatures with a strong layer of scales and cold blood in their veins. There are legends of dragons from all over the world but the two main types of dragons are the eastern dragon (mainly from China or Japan) and the western dragon (Europe).

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Eastern dragons are quite different from those found in the west. The appearance of the eastern dragon varies slightly depending on status and sex but they all have the same basic look. The Eastern dragon has a long snake like body that is covered with scales. Many have hair or feathers running down the length of their back. They have long powerful tails with a spade shaped tip. At the end of each of their four legs were razor sharp claws which could tear through almost anything. The number of toes a dragon had represented which Asian country it originated in: 3 toed dragons are Japanese, 4 toed dragons are Korean, and 5 toed dragons are Chinese. Most of the time dragons are shown to have a lion-type mane around its neck, on its chin, and on each elbow. They have two antler-type horns decorating their wide-mouthed head, and two whiskers spreading out from their snout. Some eastern dragons had a great pearl in their throat or under its chin that symbolized wisdom and power. Unlike the western dragon the eastern dragons had no wings but possessed magical powers which enabled them to fly and did not have the ability to breathe fire.

Western dragons usually have long thick scaly bodies similar to that of a tyrannosaurs rex. They posses a long spade shaped or spiked tail which is often used as a weapon. The western dragons have four thick muscular legs with strong claws that are used to rip into its prey. On their back they have two leathery bat like wings which they use to fly. These wings are powerful enough to propel the dragon at tremendous speeds. The western dragons usually have wedge shaped heads with long pointy horns jutting out from the top if its head. They have powerful jaws and razor sharp teeth which are used to tear apart prey. Unlike the eastern dragon the western dragons have the ability to breathe some sort of dragon breath: fire, lightning, frost, poison, or acid.

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

English Essay on My Brother

Essay about My Brother

My two brothers decided to party the night of New Years Eve. My perfect brother James had never had never done any drugs. He had never touched a cigarette or drunk a drop of beer in his entire life. Unfortunately, my brother Micheal had done all these things and much more. His is the son that every mother dread having. I guess you could say that he was the soul of the operation and all the peer pressure for James. I remember that night so clearly, almost as if I can close my eyes and it happens all over again.

James and Micheal were crushing ice for mixed drinks that they planned on intoxicating them selves with. Micheal had already had a few beers and was working on another one. James was waiting on the ice.

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A few moments later I saw my perfect brother with a half empty glass in his hand. He had already started to act funny. I knew that it had to be that he was a virgin to the whole drinking sense. "James, are you okay." I asked. All that I got in response was a few mumbles. Mom thought he was just drunk, but Micheal being an expert because of years of experience knew that something wasn't right. He said that James was getting a little too drunk, a little too quick. Then he said," I've seen a fair share of cheap drunks, but no one has ever got drunk off a half of a screw-driver."

By the time that James glass was empty, he was lying on the floor using his arms as his only means of moving from one room to another. He had already lost all functions of his legs. "Get him to bed," mom said. He was now wasted and getting too annoying even for drunken annoying people.

Mom and Micheal had put James to bed. After one mixed drink, my perfect brother was acting like a maniac. He yelled for about a half an hour for someone to come to him. I had gotten tired of hearing him so I went to see what it was that would make him go on like he was.

I turned the light on so I could see my so-called perfect drunken brother. He was lying there on the bed with his arms wrapped around himself and tears rolling from his eyes. "James please don't drink anymore." I said with a sigh. As I got closer to him, I could see a weird look in his eyes. He never replied to my request, he just laid there silent. Out of nowhere, his eyes began to roll in the back of his head.

Frantically, I yelled for my mother. As she entered the room asked, "What's wrong?"

"Something is wrong with James, I expressed loudly as she stood in the doorway. "Sweetie, he's just drunk, he'll be fine in the morning." She explained. Look at him mom!" I said in a trembling voice.

She stepped closer to the bed so she could see her drunken son more clearly. His body was stiff at first but he began to jerk and gasp for air. My mother's eyes widened and her mouth dropped. "Tell Micheal to bring some cold wet rags and a bucket." She ordered. I wasn't sure what the bucket was for but I didn't take the time to ask, I just did as I was told.

When I explained to Micheal what was going on, he quickly sobered up. He got the things mom had asked for and handed me the phone. "Call the ambulance service and tell them that your brother is suffering from alcohol poisoning." He ordered.

My mother had written the ambulance service number on the front of the phone book, in case of an emergency. It was a good thing because I wouldn't have been able to find the number as quick as I did. Holding the phone in my sweaty palm, I found it difficult to dial the number because my hands were so shaking so badly. When the operator answered the phone, I explained to her what was happening, even though I didn't know myself what exactly was going on. "We think that he has alcohol poisoning," I said. Before I could finish my sentence she asked for the directions to where we were. After giving her the direction, she assured me that the paramedics would be there right away.

My brain felt as if it was frozen. There wasn't anything else that I could do. So I dropped to my knees and prayed for God to spare the life of my brother. That night I prayed with everything that I had in me.

The ambulance arrived, and quickly put James on the stretcher. They didn't leave our driveway as soon as they got James in the ambulance. They worked on him for what seemed like a lifetime. I had an aching in my heart that hurt so badly. I was down on my hands and knees praying for God not to take my brother away from me.

My mother rode to the hospital in the ambulance with James. She promised to call as soon as they told her something. We all waited by the phone impatiently. I could tell that Micheal thought the whole thing was his fault. "He's going to be fine, you know James, he's tough, he'll be alright." Micheal said with a doubtful look on his face. I hoped that he was right. Then the phone rang. Micheal told me to answer it, I could see tears come into his eyes. I grabbed his hand and picked up the phone. "Mom?" I asked. "He's going to be alright." She answered before I had time to ask. The smile that appeared on my face must have let Micheal know that his brother was going to be okay. Mom said that they had to stay all night at the hospital, but her and James both would be home before I woke up the next day. When I laid down to sleep that night I said my prayers as I usually do, I just added a lot more thanks.

Although I didn't lose my brother that night. I lost the carelessness of being able to go to a party and get wasted. How can people drink without the thought of someone that they're drinking with may end up dead by the end of the night. When my friends ask me to join them at a party where there is alcohol, I tell them that I'd rather not and then try to get them not to go. I know that alcohol doesn't seem like a serious thing to them, but they haven't seen alcohol with death relating to it. I am thankful for knowing the effects of it, I just wish that every teenager could have seen what I saw that New Years night.

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Essay on Conflict Management

Essay on Conflict Management

I work for an organization called Hallmark Trading Company. This company provides services such as capital ventures, new and used equipment sales and purchases, and a full line truck center. In the course of doing business, sometimes conflict will arise. In this paper, I will first explain what conflict is, the different types of conflict and then the different styles of management used to handle conflict. My personal style of management will also be shown according to the assessment tool taken from the workbook Organizational Behavior 7th addition written by Schermerhorn JR., Hunt, and Osborn. I will explain how this style contradicts with the style of management in my organization but how the style they use may be more effective.

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Conflict is something that happens often in my organization. However, there are different styles to manage conflict and some are more effective than others. Before I explain these different styles, it is important to understand what conflict is. "Conflict occurs whenever disagreements exist in a social situation over issues of substance or whenever emotional antagonisms create frictions between individuals or groups" (Schermerhorn, Hunt, Osborn, 2002 pg.127, Conflict). There are two distinctive types of conflict, "substantive conflict" and "emotional conflict".

Substantive conflict happens when one person fundamentally disagrees with another person or group in the course of doing business. For example, my boss bought a package of step vans used in delivering bakery products. He wanted to market the trucks for electrical and mechanical applications where I thought they should be remarketed for another bakery operation. This is just a disagreement of opinions, but management still has to develop a way to manage this type of conflict, which can be very challenging depending on the personalities involved.

Emotional conflict intrudes into the feelings of a situation, such as anger, mistrust, dislike, fear, resentment, and the like. This is commonly called "clash of personalities" (Schermerhorn, Hunt, Osborn, 2002, pg.127,). This type of conflict can sometimes be more draining, and take away from the more important work that needs to be done. Usually this happens between co-workers who may not like one another, or with customers who are not dealt with properly. I have witnessed both types of conflict in my organization and the different styles used in managing these types of conflicts.

According to Schermerhorn, Hunt, and Osborn there are five ways to manage conflict. The first style I want to write about is Smoothing or Accommodation style. This is when a manager agrees with the other side of the conflicting situation. He/she smoothes the conflict over by maintaining superficial harmony. Second is Collaboration and Problem Solving. This is when a manager trouble shoots the problem and then works through the differences to make it an acceptable situation for everyone. The third is Avoidance. With this style the manager would stay neutral at all costs, trying not to participate in the situation at all. The fourth is Competition and Authoritative Command. This style of management is derived from the term I like to use as the "God" style. When a manager forces the opposite party to agree with him/her. They use their position to win due to their authority. The last style is Compromise. This style is when the manager seeks "acceptable" rather than "optimal" solutions so no one totally wins or loses.

There is not one style that is used as a guideline in my organization. Each departmental manager uses the style that is conformed by his or her personality. The CEO of the organization tends to use the competition and authoritative command style. He is an ex-military man who has this style instilled into his personality. He is the boss, so we need to do it his way. This is a very counter productive way to manage conflict. He makes us use his philosophies in decisions we make rather than opening the conflict up for debate. The "my way or the highway" attitude. This style of management forces more conflict between the departments and resentment towards him. Even though I do not agree with this style of managing conflict it has been a successful style for him. He has been able to maintain a high level of integrity through the same style. Meaning, although he forces his views and decisions on his employees those decisions and views are mostly good for the company, just sometimes bad for morale.

In the organizational behavior workbook 7th addition, there is an assessment test that helps the person taking it understand which style he or she uses. It asks a variety of questions that help pinpoint the style best suited for his/her personality. The style that was best suited for my personality was Collaboration and Problem Solving. According to the text this is the best style to handle conflict. The difference between this and the style that my CEO uses is that I genuinely have a desire to find a solution for everyone's concerns by working through differences to find the problem so everyone gains as a result. His desire is that everyone should think the way he does for every situation even though everyone's views are different.

This essay paper has explained what conflict is and the two types of conflict there are. It listed each style of management used to deal with conflict and which styles work best. It also has explained which style is used by my organization "Hallmark Trading Company" and what style I use personally according to the assessment tool in the Organizational Behavior Workbook 7th addition. I enjoyed learning more about the different styles of managing conflict while writing this paper. My desire is now to be able to recognize conflict when it happens and use a style of management that will best resolve the issues in the conflict.

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Essay on Bruce Dawe

Essay on Bruce Dawe

Consumerism refers to the practice of consuming or a typical state of mind in a free market context and by consumerism, we are talking about a concern, even an obsession with owning and consuming material things.

I have studied a number of texts including two of Bruce Dawe's poems, namely "Enter Without so Much as Knocking" and "Breakthrough". I have studied and analysed a song from Jennifer Lopez, entitled "Love Don't Cost a Thing" and a cartoon from Michael Leunig.

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These texts have stimulated my thinking and to be more critical of consumerism. Bruce Dawe focuses his satirical voice on the consumer culture, in the poems I have studied. Jennifer Lopez's song raises issues of relationship breakdown due to the misleading perceptive of money-motivated love. Furthermore, Michael Leunig's cartoon explains why TV is such a dominant force in the consumer world.

In the poem Enter Without so Much as Knocking, Bruce Dawe is suggesting that the "modern society" is false and superficial. He makes us focus and consider the corruption behind the whole concept of consumerism. In the poem, the child blinked into birth and consumerism surrounded him. From his teenage years to his dying days, consumerism surrounded him. Bruce Dawe tries to express his negative view with his satirical tone. He uses stereotypes by describing the mother as an Economy-sized and using an Australian suit to describe the father. He effectively uses a number of imagery techniques i.e. "Human Life as a Game show" and "Family as an advertised product". In general, Bruce Dawe tries to portray that people are too ashamed to face the fact that they have surrendered to a society corrupted by consumerism and full of disguises.

Another masterpiece from Dawe is the poem "Breakthrough". As the preamble tells us, it is about a little girl reported to have died happily singing an advertised commercial. Bruce Dawe is very critical of consumerism in this poem. He is not admiring it at all and he shows this by his ironic tone. He suggests that advertising has now extended its influence and even goes beyond death. Dawe feels that this girl is a link between heaven and the "mortal round" and that she is bringing advertising to heaven. Reading his irony properly made me discover that to him, advertising seems to be a cosmic thing but still is just a sham. He juxtaposed the beauty of advertising with the cruel human descriptions of a dying girl. (The frail cup crumples like a paper cup). He effectively uses the dying girl to create an image of advertising being as important in heaven as it is on Earth. This technique makes us think that advertising is a religious experience.

Jennifer Lopez, with her affectionate voice, effectively inspired me to look at consumerism at a different angle. Her song, "My Love Don't Cost a Thing", deals with issues during relationships caused by consumerism. It is a very emotional song as JLO tries to decry her lover's attitude towards their relationship. This heart rending song is accompanied by JLo's natural affectionate voice making this song a very effective text to be judgmental of consumerism. The song also tries to produce a feeling of sorrow or pity for someone. Besides being compassionate, it is also evocative in which JLo tries to call up memories, feelings or thoughts. JLo uses repetition for emphasis. She repeats "even if you were broke, my love don't cost a thing" because she wants to make sure that the message is being delivered. To tell us that she would sacrifice all those material things for the sake of spending more time with her lover. JLo's attitude in this song is "Pure love replaces material things".

This song mainly discusses materialism and how it can severely affect a relationship. Some of the lines from the song that discusses consumerism include "Give me all the things that money can't buy" and "You think the money that you make can substitute the time you take".

Lastly, a cartoon from Michael Leunig that I have studied makes me think, at a greater extent, the power of consumerism. It has made me realize how much it has corrupted our minds. One of the most influential consumer world products, the television, is being discussed in this cartoon. The cartoon shows a guy standing on top of a television and facing the parents of the children, who are sitting behind him. It is an anti-consumerism text and it explains why TV is such a dominant force in the consumer world. Michael Leunig uses a technique called juxtaposition. He placed the parents on the left side and the children on the other. This enables us to compare and contrast these two types of characters. It's the simplistic look of the cartoon that makes it very detailed. He simply focuses on the facial expression or stance of the character. The look on the audiences faces in the cartoon indicates how a material thing such as a TV can manipulate our mind and make us pay attention and take an advice, a message or information. The guy standing on the TV represents the power of consumerism. And again we would notice his facial expression as well as his stance... Michael Leunig makes him look superior by putting him on top of the TV. Like any other cartoon, Michael Leunig's approach is implying by suggesting something without actually stating it in the cartoon.

These four texts use different language techniques, to make sure that the readers are on the receiving end of the message. From reading these texts, I have become more critical of consumerism, making me realize that consumerism has its own deficiencies. There are many negative sides that weigh up against the benefits we extract from consumerism. Analysing the texts being studied made me more aware and learned that the composers use such techniques to strengthen their viewpoint of consumerism. Such techniques, including juxtaposition, emotive language and irony, have adequately supplied more emphasis on ideas being expressed in each of the texts.

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