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The depth of the college experience

Making lemonade out of foiled travel plans

–Column–

BY Jenee Gregor

It’s come  time for me as a student, where Financial Aid is pushing me out the door, my transcript is booked, and I am ready to go.  I am not quite sure where it all will lead but surely glad to be on my way.  There have been the more glorious of moments in the realm of reformation, in the sense that a foiled trip to India reshaped my plan of action.  A year in SE Asia turned into going back to school.

Washtenaw Community College and The Voice gave me an opportunity.  

I didn’t squander it, I took advantage of what I could in the time that I allotted. In a sense I checked into a form of legitimacy and grabbed on to the things that could truly give me experience.  Now, in the scheme what a beautiful occurrence, but I need the change.

Some are meant for the life of structure, but I fight with that idea, and crave variety.  Not all people are built for the same workforce or remotely similar skill set.  There comes the obviousness.  I have spent a year, walking into the newsroom on various levels of tired, stressed out or in some cases with hula hoops in tow.  

This stint in the journalism program has ended for me, and set sights on a little bit of exploring. Time is seemingly not pressing until allowed to be.  The truth is to gather the experience, turn into lessons and go forward into world not a babe in the woods but with a small tool kit.

It will give more growth space in the future, and that ca only be a good thing as WCC is such a blessing for having the prices it does to let students explore their options without the time and financial commitments.  As a poll of my friends just on Facebook, many in their late twenties like myself, we are still treading away in the education system.

As time has passed and the publishing experience his given me something to bulk up my resume, I am ready to be out into the world again.  I’m heading out of the country for a while, but my keyboard will stay warm and keep looking for the byline.  Thanks Voice and WCC.  

There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. Yet that will be the beginning.

Louis L’Amour

 

Graduation can mean DEBT

BY Jenee Gregor

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The school knows the stress that comes along with finals and end of semester.  The library provides adult coloring sheets, free coffee and even therapy dogs on certain times of the day.  The air in the school is quiet, there are blank eyes and the city is even covered in snow.  Stress is compiled over work, home, school, and anything else that comes out, and this is for the betterment of the student.

Institution is the stepping stone for learning, to make it into the next realm of maturation and economy.  Or is supposed to be, the hope that it will be. The problem for some can be the immense student loan debt and the mindset that it can create in the workplace. How is that side stepped?

According the an article by Time magazine, “student loan debt exceeded credit card debt in 2010 and auto loans in 2011, and it passed the $1 trillion mark in 2012,” which is huge.  Time also stated that students are on average graduating with $35,000 in debt as of 2015. Which this article proposed can affect the rest of their lives.

In 1993-94 the student debt average at graduation was $10,000, and the cost of living has also risen in that time.  

So, more student loans, and rising cost of living, and a wondering rumor, that has no specific origin that millennials are “lazy or entitled.” A Forbes article explained the term “work martyr,” from Project: Time off “as a person who believes it is more important to work long hours over true productivity. The work martyr often won’t take breaks or use vacation time out of fear he or she may be seen as replaceable or undedicated to the job.”

Which is an understandable idea with the amount of debt that students are graduating with, job are seen as something that important and imperative to paying bill and continuing to live.

Where two year school are so important, giving the opportunity to take classes without the pressure of the huge loan base. Washtenaw Community College students have 15 percent graduation rates and 26 percent transfer rates for students.  

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Information from National Center for Educational Statistics

These steps make the process more affordable and more centered for those that can’t imagine taking on the loans.

LAST CLASS

The Last Assignment

April is coming to an end.

Also that the semester is also coming to the edge.

I am happy about that and I can not pretend,

that I want to come back, even for friends.

Bring on the sunshine, let summer begin!

Using Photos, Links and Videos

Writing the Local Events column and having it on a newspaper I struggle to get enough media to make the article look appealing and give a good example of what is going on there.  Having  a video, or a snippet would make it easier to explain what is happening.  The sound bits of the shows, and links to what is going on for more information would make it much easier and more fruitful.

The website I don’t have access to, I do submit some links for the Hailey the web  design person to add into the listings.

I wrote a First Fridays Ypsilanti article and the photos that were available were suitable so the story only had one photo and it was their logo.  Having more photos really would have showcased better what the event actually is, and a video as well.  But print doesn’t really lend to that kind of thing.

The photos that I get for the music site I write for are usually from stock photo websites that are easy to find and use.  I do link them to other articles as well to create cross-over traffic.

On that site I also am encouraged to use as many links as I can inside the body of text.  It creates more traffic and also the message can be immediately fact check in some cases.  For instance that article I wrote about the festival cancellations I included a built in link to all the festival websites, which has their cancellation message directly there.  The credibility was built by one swift click on the name of the festival, a new tab the message of the festivals being cancelled.

Adding in the photos of the festival itself brings so much more life, and emotional value for those people that went to it before or had planned to go this year.

I use soundcloud files in some of my pieces for them, and that it super helpful.

 

 

 

April sun in SE Michigan brings bikers, and a friendly reminder to mind the trails

 

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The trails are beckoning as the spring appears.

 

The trails have thawed and so have the wintery souls of Michigan.  The sun is shining and drying out those bike trails that have been barren since the fall of the winter and before the rains come.

There are so many reasons not to ride in the winter, some of us brave the cold and bundle up, without a fat tire bike, for most, the winter is the off season.  The fat tires give so much more traction in the ice and snow, although the wind and the chill can’t be fought.


“I just moved to this area and I haven’t been biking since,” said Koby Conrad, a motocross racer and mountain biker.  “I’m excited to try some trails out here.”

 

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Giant Trance on a trail in Rolling Hills Park in Ypsilanti.

The first day of the sunshine in spring season by Mother Nature’s standards, it’s hard not to hit the trail in a hurry when it’s been seemingly dry and nice.  The weather is warming up, and there will be good weather days with bad trail days that a ride should be skipped.

Careful of the wet trail days

“Human Erosion,” is the term that is used when the trails are ridden when it’s too wet, explained Jeff Stowers an employee at Tree Fort Bikes in Ypsilanti, a former geology-minor  at Eastern Michigan University.

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Jeff Stowers, of Tree Fort Bikes shares insight about local trails and excellent bike maintenance.

 

“The top layer of frozen soil holds moisture,” Stowers said, “Luckily our trails dry out fairly fast because of the glacial sediment.”  The frozen soil is easy to break up and cause human erosion, so riding in the wet and muddy conditions can really harm the trail.

So keep in mind in the upcoming rainy spring season.

“Riding a wet trail wrecks it, and if a trail’s wrecked, a couple of things happen,” mountain biker Laura Rossitter, author of The Mountain Bike Guide to Summit County, Colorado and Mountain Biking Colorado’s Historic Mining Districts says. “First, other groups look negatively on mountain bikers, which is the last thing we need in our quest as legitimate trail users. Second, it destroys the trail to the point where it’s no longer rideable,” in an article published by Claire Martin on the American Trails Training Partnership website.

ATTP reccommends taking a dirt road ride on those muddy days instead, they can with stand the tread of the bike tires and can be an endurance ride.

Taking in account there hasn’t been rain and Michigan trails dry out fairly quickly, it is the the time to hit them before the rain comes again, hopefully.

 

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Juan Osorno, of Tree Fort Bikes, has been patiently awaiting the sunshine and dry trail season.

 

It’s the first time that it’s been really nice since that one day in January, mentioned Juan Osorno on Friday, an employee at Tree Fort Bikes on Whittaker.

There are lots of trails in the SE Mich. Area, for the flat topographical lands that are present.

Here are a few to check out if you haven’t already.

Potowatomi Trail

This is a 17-mile loop, in the Pinckney Recreation Area, that is highly rated and is claimed to be one of the best trails in the state according to the MMBA, or Michigan Mountain Bikers Association.

Even though it is a long trail it there are big climbs and down-hills, and it is more challenging mentioned Stowers, and it dries quickly because of the sand in the soil.

Brighton Recreational Trails

There are some great trails in Brighton Recreational Area, they have a great range from beginner trails like the Appleton Trail to their very advanced trail, Torn Shirt.

Island Lake State Recreation Area

There are a few trails here, namely Yellow and Blue trails which are known in the community for their good maintenance and medium skill level.

So, catch the sunshine, and check the weather to make sure the trails are good, and get out there!

 

 

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San Bernadino shooting influence broad in media, even the campaign rhetoric

The day had been ordinary in nature until a special kind of terror unfolded.  Two people, Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik opened fire on a holiday gathering on December 2, 2015 in San Bernardino, Calif.

The reports had started to come in on this deadly couple that and a shooting spree had definitely occurred and was still a threat as police headed to the scene.

The couple killed 14 people in their terrorist attack and injured 22 more.  They were eventually killed by police in a gun battle as reported by the LA Times.

This was marked as one of the largest terrorist attacks on American soil since the attack on the Twin Towers on the fateful September 11, 2001.

The shooting really shook the minds of Californians and Americans, reigniting a stereotype that began it’s large stigma in 2001.

 

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The story streamed through the media and social media leaving few spared from the chatter about the event.  Seemingly lots of folks had some things to say about the occurrences and making generalizations.

Donald Trump  believes Muslims in America should be profiled as developments continue to emerge following last week’s mass shooting in San Bernardino that officials have called a terrorist attack,” from a LA Times article about the reshaping of the election after such an attack.

Anti-Muslim groups and prejudiced groups, perhaps edged some undecided voters toward the particular views of the Trump campaign.

Where this event gave him a platform to spout his racially and immigrant driven rants. He made a public statement about having a Muslim ban in the US.

It seems as thought this event was fuel to Trump’s fire giving him so much more rhetoric and having the benefit of relevance and time on him hands to make these statements and get this type of attention.

His supporters seem to not bat an eyelash about the comments that he has made and have decided to stand behind the decisions, and may have a slight case of xenophobia.

Clinton took a much more civil approach and mentioned them as, “Shooters,” perhaps taking into the account that there have been other attacks that have not yielded the “terrorist” title, in an article by The DC.

This event spurred the case putting the Federal Government against Apple trying to get the corporations assistance in cracking the pass code on their phones for more information.  Which also took over social media, in the curiosity of whether of not Apple would fold into submission the governments demands.

It’s seeming that this tragedy has turned into a rallying point for Trump and his campaign tactics and an excuse for the government to have access to the phones and technological lives of criminals.

Fortunately Apple didn’t succumb to the pressures of the government, but the government found a way to bypass their unwillingness to help.

 

This tragedy took over like wildfire on so many different levels, with complex dynamic in how different people chose to find words to make their opinion heard using this as a turning point.  Clinton, chose to stay out of the name game and talk about the way shootings should be dealt with.  Trump spouted off with his banning Muslim movement in his campaign, furthering his separatist tactics. Apple showed what it was made of for not letting the government take over the privacy of their users, and the government showed what it was made of by paying hackers to do the dirty work.

 

And it was all posted fresh and in front  of the faces of Americans on social media.

Terms and conditions and user agreements, what are they actually about?

 

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Terms and Conditions, User Agreements and the rules that apply are very similar across the board to protect themselves against suit.  They all seem as though they would hold up in court, because of through language and dynamic coverage.

These are rules that as a user, or submitter, these things apply to everyone.

Huffington Post

Their terms and conditions are set up for those that are submitting or could be possibly using their site.  They are using a dynamic approach by saying that they own the copyright to the material on the site, and that you are submitting it to them you are giving your rights away to the work to the Post.  And that those that submit have to abide by their rules and restrictions in order to be affiliated with them.

In the converse the submitter is responsible for all actions that may be taken against by what is written.

They do not claim any responsibility for sites that are linked to them.

One copy for person use is allowed.

This all may stand up in court and that the submitter would be held mostly accountable, but the publication may not totally escape the blame if something were to truly blow up.

 

Washington Post

This is strictly based on the users and not about submission because they have a sole staff that works for them and submissions from outside sources are not involved.  But they still give the writer most of the blame and they are responsible for their content.

They have all content protected under copyright, so it may not be used. One copy for personal use is allowed.

Linking is only mentioned when it takes about how it is not responsible for the what the links on the page are not about because they are not affiliated with them.

Posting is not mentioned.

 

Detroit Free Press

The copyright agreement holds all rights like the other two sites.  It does make this statement, “You may not modify, copy, reproduce, republish, upload, post, transmit or distribute in any way any material from this site including code and software.” As well as give you the one copy rule.

The user agreement does not mention linking or posting.

The Bottom Line

Be safe with sharing by not just assuming that it is just fine to do so, someone owns that work, and can file suit if they feel it has been improperly used.

Media only contrast; Does appearance affect trustworthiness?

In the age of convergence, the refresh cycle comes faster than most have an interest for.  The internet is filled with information, some less important others, but yet all equally available.  The appearance of the site may have a negative of positive appeal to the chosen audience.

Some news falls my the wayside because it is just isn’t “trending.” And some of the sites are so overwhelming that no matter where one looks there are pictures and click bait headlines drawing the mouse to them. Some have a look that may immediately cause question of it’s credibility.

Buzzfeed

This is one of those sites that there is more content than more person can possibly ingest in one small sitting.  Yet the converse, there is so much going on that someone could find something to look at or draw the elusive click. As well as making one wonder about how much of this can be taken seriously.

DrudgeReport

Drudgereport is very plain, yet jammed with text.  It’s like a less organized Craigslist, less clean, and there is mass amount of information drawn from multiple sources. It is part of the appeal of this site, and will stay that way because of it’s always been plain appearance is part of it’s character. The credibility is relied upon where the link and title takes the user of the mouse.

Huffington Post

This site is most resemblance to the land of print journalism.  The masthead states it’s assertive appearance and the sections are well laid out.  For this reason, there is more of an inherent trustworthiness because it is so similar to a trusted source of supposedly or mostly undoubted facts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Huge wins for Clinton and Trump; Rubio suspends campaign

 

Trump won Florida and he comes closer to a presidential nomination. Trump set out to take over Rubio’s home state and succeeded.

Kasich won in his home state of Ohio, with his first big win.

Clinton won in North Carolina, Florida, and Ohio. Sanders lost across the board, losing momentum after the big win in Michigan.

Rubio gave a heartfelt concession speech and suspended his campaign, mentioning it is not in God’s plan but happy to have had the privilege to make it this far. “I am grateful to God,” said Rubio.


Ohio, North Carolina and Florida vote for the presidential primary in the Mega Tuesday. Ohio and Florida are winner-take-all states and could be a huge in the delegate gatering race in the all the campaigns.

Florida’s Primary Results

Trump won the 99 Republican delegates in Florida with 46 percent. Rubio only won in his home county in Miami.

Clinton won the 214 delegates in Florida creating a sweep in the southern states.

Ohio’s Primary Results

Kasich won in Ohio for the 66 Republican delegates, in his home state voting in support.

Clinton won in Ohio the 159 Democratic delegates, which took away the hopes of a Sanders sweep in the Mid-west for needed delegates.

North Carolina’s Primary Results

Trump wins the vote for the North Carolina 72 Republican delegates putting him up to winning 18 states in the primaries.

Clinton wins North Carolina’s 121 Democrat delegates nudging her closer to a presidential nomination edging her lead against Sanders.

Standing before Mega Tuesday

The Republican and Democratic candidates stand as follows going into the March 15 primary in North Carolina, Ohio and Florida. Clinton and Trump have held quite a lead up to this point in the race and are maintaining that lead.

Democratic Side

Hillary Clinton leads in the delegate count for the Democratic side.

“I’m disappointed, but I am not surprised. Even though there are progressive people in the South, they are still more conservative than other places.  Secretary Clinton is the more conservative of the two candidates,” said Carrie Bice, a North Carolina native but Michigan resident.

Results are not on Sanders’ side in the primaries tonight.

“Tonight is everything for Bernie Sanders,” said Van Jones on the CNN primary results broadcast. And proved not to be a night where he succeed.

“I’m mostly annoyed by the fact that my dreams for America and the course that it’s taking are two decidedly different things,” said Nick Ransom, a college student in Ann Arbor.

Republican Side

Rubio dropped out of the race, leaving Trump, Kasich and Cruz to fight for the remaining delegates.

Trump has a large lead, and tonight could be a huge turning point for or against his campaign, with 30 percent of the delegate needed to win the nomination available tonight.

“I’m happy, I feel like Trump will bring chaos and I want that,” said Livingston county resident Justin Baloh.

Even though Kasich is far behind in the delegate race he remains an option hoping on his home state of Ohio for support.

“You’ll see tonight. We’re going to win Ohio,” Kasich said in an interview on “Good Morning America.”

“We have to win,” stated in an ABC news article. He was right.

 

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Sanders a big win with Michigan Primary

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Ann Arbor, Mich.-

Bernie Sanders won the Michigan primary with huge momentum. Sanders took the delegates with 49.8 percent.

Clinton’s support prevailed in Mississippi.

Trump has a big winning night calling upon his supporters to take both states.

Michigan, Mississippi, Idaho and Hawaii voting took place on March 8, Idaho and Hawaii only Republican states.

Democratic Results

Sanders took the delegates with 49.8 percent in Michigan in a surprise and well needed win the the industrial center of the Mid-west. Clinton took the win in Mississippi with 83 percent vote.

Republican Results

Trump won in Michigan with 37.1 percent and Mississippi by 50.4 percent taking both states for the evening.

Candidates making pleas for votes

National Democratic debate in Flint brought a lot of attention to the candidates here, bringing to light different issues and solutions about the Flint water crisis.

Sanders’ rallies in the Washtenaw County brought thousands, the Ann Arbor rally brought over 5,700 according to a Mlive article covering the event.  As Sanders is going for the liberal community in Michigan vying for a large number of delegates in the state.

“Michigan just threw Senator Sanders a life vest to float in the upcoming primaries,” said Hatim Elhady a medical student who attended the rally on Monday.

Clinton spoke in Grand Rapids and Detroit on Monday.

“I’m honestly shocked and terrified that Trump managed to turn out so many voters; in contrast I’m beyond thrilled that Bernie Sanders did so well, I had no doubts he would- not just because I am a supporter, but because I know of the support he has here in Michigan,” said Carrie Bice a Washtenaw Community College graphic design student.

Republicans duel for the 59 delegates and Democrats race for the 130 delegates here in Michigan. Republicans are up for 150 total delegates and Democrats are up for 170 delegates in the four states.

Kasich said, “The whole country is watching Michigan right now,” at his small speech at the Lansing brewing company this Tuesday of about 200 people from a Detroit News article.

Trump visited Michigan and has been leading in the polls above Cruz and then Kasich coming in third reported by CNN.

“I’m happy that Trump won Michigan, I have been spreading that word, I embrace the chaos of his presidency,” said Justin Baloh, a Livingston county resident and Republican.

 

 

Exit polls on CNN report that Democrats in Michigan have found both Sander’s and Clinton’s plans for the country to be realistic, tightening their race.