Posted by: sugarae97 | April 13, 2012

Rewrite – AOW – Too Much Practice?

Have you ever been taking a test and there’s just one answer you can’t remember? You think and think, but even though you had all the information perfectly memorized last night, there’s that one fact that slips from your mind. But what if you had taken more time to study? By repetitively practicing, you can comprehend information better and retain it longer.

The more effort you put into practicing the less effort it will take to perform. In a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers developed a test that measured how much energy the participants used by analyzing their breathing pattern while performing a repetitive motion. The results showed a decrease of about 20% in energy expended as their skill improved in the task. If you keep going over what you have already perfected, your brain will register what you’re doing. That way it will become easier and more natural for you to recall later.

By repeating actions over and over again, not only will you perform them better, you will remember them longer. “The message from this study is that in order to perform with less effort, keep on practicing, even after it seems the task has been learned,” said Alaa Ahmed, assistant professor in the integrative physiology department at the University of Colorado-Boulder. For example, if you cram the night before a test, you will probably be successful the next day. However, if you continue to keep studying until you thoroughly understand the material, you will retain the information in your long-term memory. Therefor, it will require less effort to recall what you have learned.

Making the effort now to overlearn information or actions will benefit you in the future. Time spent today will be time saved tomorrow. By overpracticing now and committing information to your long-term memory, you free up space for short-term memories and make the brain more efficient in everyday use. Take advantage of overlearning, you’re improving even if you are unaware.

Posted by: sugarae97 | April 6, 2012

AOW – Environmental Awareness

Imagine waking up in a tent in the morning.  You step outside to see a pink sun rising through the cool, crisp, air making your nose tingle.  All you are aware of is the beauty of nature and your surrounding environment.  But unfortunately, the majority of today’s teens have not had this experience. In fact, school-aged children are less environmentally aware than older generations.

Though generations, the effort put into helping the environment has significantly decreased.  Statistics show that the largest decrease, at 7%, has occurred in the last 10 years.  One reason that could have contributed to this drop is the selfish attitude of getting what we want when we want it.  People of the millennial generation are not willing to give up their conveniences and make the effort to do something.  For example, if you are hungry, you get in the car and drive to a fast food restaurant.  This generates excess waste from fast food wrappers and the burning of fuel, all for the sake of immediate satisfaction.  No thought to the impact made on the environment was even considered while performing this action.

Another reason for this lack of awareness is the lack of connection with the outdoors.  People of this generation rarely choose to spend time outside.  Nowadays, “a lot of these students have very little experience with the unpaved world,” states Beth Christensen, a professor at Adelphi University on New York’s Long Island.  We are so dependant upon our climate-controlled environment that we’ve lost touch with the beauty of nature.  Even the slightest discomfort from the outdoor elements send us running back inside.

School-aged children are definitely more unaware of their impact on the environment.  Lifestyles of selfishness, comfort and convenience are the main factors that have contributed to their unawareness.  How can we make this generation more aware? There is no simple solution, but the problem needs to be addressed before the impact is too significant to reverse.


Posted by: sugarae97 | March 23, 2012

AOW – Textbooks Becoming Dust

The world continues to collect and record information and textbooks are getting fatter and fatter with new discoveries. Is there a way to shrink textbooks? Technological advancements have addressed this problem, and the solution lies in the smart tablet. Smart devices will help learning because they are more thorough, convenient and up-to-date than textbooks.

Textbooks have been very useful tools in classrooms, but technology could be more beneficial. It’s always been a challenge to keep textbooks up-to-date, but by using smart tablets you can frequently update information. Textbooks are limited to the printed pages of the publication, whereas electronic devices can connect to megabytes of knowledge.

Some common problems that occur with textbooks can be easily fixed by using smart tablets. For example, if a class is reading together and a student is missing a page from a textbook, he or she have to share with another student. Another problem is vandalism. It can be very difficult for some students to focus if there are drawings or comments written on the pages. The weight of a textbook alone is an issue for today’s students. Textbooks from four core subjects can add up to 25 lbs of weight that a student has to carry.

A smart tablet, on the other hand, has eliminated some of these issues and has even more to offer. If a student comes upon a word they don’t know while reading a textbook, they can check the glossary, but if it’s not in there they probably won’t bother to look up the meaning. Whereas, a student reading from a smart tablet could just select the word they don’t know, click and be given the definition, thus furthering their learning and understanding. The simplicity of downloading information keeps a smart tablet up-to-date. Students can have the most recent revisions at their fingertips and for all core subjects on one tablet. The average smart device is smaller than a notebook and weighs less than three pounds, significantly reducing that big stack of books.

Although the transition from textbooks to tablets may be rough at first, the positives will overcome the negatives. It takes time for people to get used to technological advancements, but the convenience will eventually replace their reluctance to adapt.


Posted by: sugarae97 | March 20, 2012

Holocaust Reflection

Students should learn about the Holocaust because we are the future and we can Impact what happens then.

I would be interested in learning about persecution in other countries.

Posted by: sugarae97 | March 9, 2012

Book Discussion Reflection

1. One of the book quotes described a scene where a young child was being taken away from her mother by a Nazi. I found that very moving because I can’t imagine life without either of my parents or having a child taken away from me.

2. The book demonstrated people overcoming challenges by coming together and making the best of situations.

3. In Iraq Christians are persecuted. There used to be over 1.5 million and now there are less than 200 thousand. This bothers me because here in America we welcome all religions and let everyone practice them freely. We have rights that protect all of our people, but in Iraq, the government just allows their citizens to persecute, beat and murder Christians because Muslim is their main religion.

Posted by: sugarae97 | March 9, 2012

AOW – Effects of Texting (Readers vs. Texters)

What do you do when you come across a word you were previously unaware of? Learn the definition or ignore it? Most people who text but don’t read on a regular basis will ignore it. The ones who are familiar with literature are more likely to take the time to look it up and even use it if they like the meaning! Texting has affected society by causing people to become lazy in expanding their vocabulary and to be more closed off to new words.

Texting is usually very short, quick and to the point. It’s main use is for conversation. This is part of the reason why texters develop a dislike for new words. People commonly assume texters would be open to new words like they are for acronyms and greetings such as “LOL” or “Sup?”.  Actually, this texting language does quite the opposite. Instead of increasing people’s welcoming to new words, it decreases it. Texting limits you to the words you and the person you’re texting use. You get familiar with the same words and are less open to new ones.

Reading, on the other hand, opens you up to new worlds of vocabulary. Every author is different and uses different words. Unlike texting, authors take time to carefully construct whatever it is they are writing to show off their skill and sound more knowledgable. Readers are exposed to a much more elaborate span of words than texters are. Naturally, the readers are more open to new vocabulary just because the words enrich the story they are reading.

Texting has a purpose in our lives, it provides a form of communication. But if you want to enrich your vocabulary, sit down, relax and enjoy a good book. Practice balancing the two and participating in both!

Posted by: sugarae97 | February 29, 2012

AOW – Too Much Practice?

Have you ever been taking a test and there’s just one answer you can’t remember? You think and think, but even though you had everything perfectly memorized last night, there’s that one thing that slips from your mind. That’s why it’s helpful to overpractice things. By repetitively practicing, you can learn things better and hold on to them longer.

The more effort you put into practicing the less effort it will take to perform. Most people will rehearse or go over material until they get it perfect once, but really, that should be the beginning of your practicing session, not the end. If you keep going over what you have already perfected, your brain will register what you’re doing. That way it will become easier and more natural for you later.

By repeating actions over and over again, not only will you understand them better, you will remember them longer. For example, if you are studying vocabulary words until you get them down perfect just once, you will probably do fine on the test. However, if you continue to keep studying until you are consistently going through the words perfectly you will have even better results. Not only will you get a better grade on the test, you won’t stress about it as much, it will take you less time to complete and you’ll retain the information for a longer time (like when your finals come sneak up on you!).

The benefits of overpracticing outweigh the time it takes to overlearn. When you continue to practice something after you’ve perfected it, it becomes a part of your long-term memory. Then it will be easier to perform when you need to and you’ll remember it longer. It might take more time and effort now, but it will be effortless when it comes time to recall the information in the future.

Posted by: sugarae97 | February 17, 2012

AOW – Orphanage in Kenya

Out of the ruins of a tragedy a miracle can arise. When 24-year-old Anthony Omari took a machete slash to the face while defending yet another attack on his mother’s orphanage, the future of the orphanage looked dismal. But when a caring college student interning in Kenya found out, he knew he had to help. After all, it only takes one person to start a movement.

The key to one person making a difference is to involve other people. Ben Hardwick, interning from New York, was a man with a bright idea. He knew he was ill-equipped to help secure the orphanage himself, so he turned to the only resource he had available, the internet. By using a social network, he was able to catch the attention of thousands of people with a picture of Omari and his newly stitched wound. Hardwick used the internet to reach out to people for help, but there are other ways to start a movement. This can be accomplished through articles, mailings, television, phone calls, email, or simple word of mouth.

The next step is to appeal to people’s compassion and state the need. Ben Hardwick did this by putting out a simple request, $2000 for a security fence. His audience responded with an overwhelming generosity. The orphanage received over $80,000 back! Hardwick’s choice of a picture touched the hearts of all who saw the posting. Making a reasonable request combined with a good reason will prompt others to get involved.

One person can make a difference, but they can’t do it by themselves. It takes that one person to catch people’s attention, spark compassion, state the need and present a solution. With the help of others, you can change lives.


Posted by: sugarae97 | February 10, 2012

AOW – The Keurig Question

Have you ever tossed a piece of paper into the trash can because it was right there when the recycling bin was on the other side of the room? Do you just buy another water bottle or refill the one you finished? Is recycling really that big of an inconvenience to you? Maybe you should think again then, because you’re making a big impact on the world, whether it’s a good one or a bad one.

Sometimes it may seem like recycling that one can won’t help enough to be worth it, but actually, one recycled can can produce enough energy to watch tv for 4 hours! If every person were to help out just once, it would make a huge difference. Even if you’re not big into recycling, also pitch in and do the small things when they cross your mind. For example, there is a website called It’s a search engine by Google that saves energy. The page is black so it uses less watt hours to power up. You could help just by setting it as your home page!

Still don’t think you’d be making much of a difference? Then pick up the slack of other people! If you put a plastic bottle in the recycling bin every time you saw one misplaced, you would have saved a ton of plastic! It may seem like a lot of work, but if you just get in the habit of going green it will come to you naturally! Imagine the difference that just you could make!

So next time you’re running out the door and don’ think you have enough time to throw something into a recycling bin instead of the trash, think again. Saving our planet is much more important than saving yourself a few seconds.

Posted by: sugarae97 | February 7, 2012


This is my book trailer over the book, “Angel”.

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