Wednesday, October 29, 2014

My Topic for the Data-Driven Research Project

For the data-driven research project, I am choosing to do the project on fantasy football. I play fantasy football in my free time, and I want to see who actually plays fantasy football, how many teams a person has, and why he or she is playing this in his or her free time. To do this, I will research the following question: What does the literature reveal about the people who participate in fantasy football?

Monday, October 27, 2014

3 Potential Research Topics

My 3 potential research topics are as follows:

1) U.S. Geography- What does the literature reveal about our knowledge of our nation's state capitals?

2)Golf- What does the literature reveal about the origins of the first American golf courses?

3)Fantasy Football- What does the literature reveal about the number of people who play fantasy football?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Bias Analysis for Editorial: Throw out the trash talk at school sports By: Tubby Smith

In the article, Editorial: Throw out the trash talk at school sports, Tubby Smith argues that the fans at high school sports events should calm down on their “taunts and foul language.” He believes that the fans at these events are using language that is too profane for these games, and that the fans have to be more civil in their chanting and rooting for their team. Based on the article, Smith has many biases about the profanity of the fans of high school sports, including the Defensive Attribution Hypothesis and the Fundamental Attribution Error.
The Defensive Attribution Hypothesis is a bias that puts more blame on the harm-doer as the outcomes of certain events become more severe. In the article, Smith shows this bias. Tubby Smith is putting a lot of blame on the fans at these events. He believes that the fans are screaming profane language towards the opposing team many times throughout the course of the game. His belief is that these exclaims of profane language is causing violence within these high school games. Smith has seen an increase in the number of altercations between high school teams, and he thinks this is happening because fans are screaming foul language at the opposing team, even though this might not be the real reason. The reader can see through this example that Tubby Smith shows that he is biased against fans who shout bad language at high school games.
The Fundamental Attribution Error is a bias when a person over-emphasizes personality-based explanations for behaviors while underestimating situational influences. The reader can see that Tubby Smith shows this type of bias. Smith believes that the people attending the game are “potty-mouths.” He argues that this group of people is influencing the violence on the field since these people are the ones who are screaming the inappropriate language at the games. However, Smith under-emphasizes the fact that the game itself could influence the responses of the fans. These games are very important to the student-athletes and sometimes the parents who are in the stands, and the intensity and importance of the game could cause a parent to yell foul language unintentionally. Tubby Smith does not mention this explanation, making him under the umbrella of the Fundamental Attribution Error.
Tubby Smith, in his article Editorial: Throw out the trash talk at school sports, shows the biases of the Defensive Attribution Hypothesis and the Fundamental Attribution Error. After looking through the biases that are present in this article, it appears that the biases of Tubby Smith decrease the strength of his argument. Not all biases are negative, but in this case, Smith’s biases make the reader believe that Smith has a strong opinion towards calming down the profanity of fans at high school sports but that he does not have a strong argument to support his opinion. The biases shown in this editorial, and biases in any article, have an effect on the argument of the writer.

To read the article, click here:

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Completed Bucket List Item

On September 28, I completed an item off of my short term bucket list: I drove my grandfather's truck. To prove that I have achieved this, here is a video of me driving the truck:

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Do You Know Jason O'Neil? (Profile of a Peer)

     Jason O'Neil is a Norton High School student that many people know. However, not many people really know Jason. After sitting down with him, there are new things to know about him that other people might not know.
     Jason was born on May 13, 1997. He is the youngest of three children, with his older sister, Colleen, being twenty-two years old and his older brother, Tyler, being twenty years old. Jason feels as if the three of them have a "pretty good" relationship. This is apparent by the way he feels that he is most similar to his brother. Mr. O'Neil does not currently have any pets, but he "had a fish" at an early age: his name was "Squirt" but it passed away ofter a short while.

      Jason O'Neil has done a few things in his short life. He has traveled to amazing places: he "went to...Universal Studios" in Florida where he loved to ride "the Hulk." He has also gone to school for a long time. Now a senior at Norton High School, he has gone to school for over ten years. This is such a long time that he does not know what his favorite read is. "I don't know," Jason pronounced, "I've read a lot of books in school." This time has not bored him, since he enjoys coming to school as a senior. Jason likes school the most because he believes it is "not that hard," and he gets to play his favorite sport: basketball.

     One of Jason's favorite hobbies is basketball. Jason has always been a fan of basketball , and he has played for as long he can remember. He plays ther game pretty well, too, playing for the high school varsity team. His friends believe he is a "tall and athletic" person, so this gives him an advantage whenever he plays the sport he loves. He has done so well at the sport that he ha won a "New England free throw competition." When he was twelve, Jason was able to compete in Connecticut against many different basketball players from around the region, and he won the entire contest.

      After talking with Jason, it seems like he is very happy with how his life is: he can even say that he is "pretty satisfied" with how he has lived his life so far. Jason looks like he is ready for anything life has to throw at him, and he seems up for the next challenge that comes his way. Many believe his past experiences on the court, in the classroom, and at home will help him with the new experinces he will create in the years ahead.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Incentives and Aesthetic Experiences

        Incentives govern human behavior in a myriad of ways. Some incentives are able to increase the productivity of the worker. Some of these incentives include purpose motivations and some money motivations. However, some of these motivations that involve money can cause diminished results in the workplace.If there is a large monetary value at stake, more people will be motivated to try to receive that prize. If the money at stake is too small, there will not be enough motivation to get the prize since it will not affect the workers' lives a lot. The incentive that can cause the greatest impact is a purpose motive. A purpose gives people a chance to succeed in something that they desire to excel in. It also gives these people a chance to contribute to a great cause (i.e. a new product) that can make people feel proud and accomplished that they did something great.
      I have an aesthetic experience every time I play golf. An aesthetic experience is when all of one's senses is at a peak. When I step on the first tee for a golf match, all of my senses are being used to the best of my ability. As I stare at the golf ball on the tee, I can see every dimple on the ball since I am completely focused on the ball. During my swing, I am able to listen to every obscene noise that is coming from the golf course, whether that is a random person talking from another hole or the sound of a cricket nearby; I can hear almost anything. When I am swinging the club, I can feel every little nuance on the grip attached to the club, and I can feel every fabric on the glove that is on my right hand. My senses are used in every which way as I swing the club, ready to begin my round.

Monday, September 22, 2014

My Bucket Lists: Short and Long Term

Short Term Bucket List
·        Make The MIAA State Tournament: The NHS golf team has not made the state tournament since I joined the team in 2012. The beginning of the 2014 year has been a success so far, so I hope that we play well the rest of the year so that I can play in states.
·        Get an A in an AP class: I am enrolled in three AP classes this year, and I want to do well in each one. If I do well, then I will know I will do well on the AP exams.
·        Win a fantasy football league: I am in two fantasy football leagues, and I have not won either of them before. If I win, I can win some money and pride within my family.
·        Go to a Bruins game: I have never been to a Boston Bruins game at the TD Garden in Boston. I watch the Bruins all the time at home, and now I want to see them live in action.
·        Drive my grandfather’s truck: My grandfather owns a Chevy Avalanche, and he has never let me drive it. I have my permit now, but when I get my license, I hope he lets me drive “his prized possession.”
·         Get a job: I am unemployed at the moment, but after the golf season is over, I hope to get a job to get some extra money.

Long Term Bucket List
·        Play in a PGA Tour event: I have watched the best golfers in the world play on the PGA tour for years, and I have always wanted to play with the best golfers in the world.
·        Participate in a cross-country road trip: I was amazed when I saw that I-90 went all the way from Boston to Seattle, Washington. It would be fun to follow I-90 its entire distance and see a lot of America in the process.
·        Get a job: This is not a job to make money in high school; this is a job that I would be in for years. I want my job to pay well, and I want my job to be something that it fun to do.
·        Play the Old Course at St. Andrews: The Old Course is the oldest golf course in the world, and it would be a privilege to go to Scotland and play that golf course at least once.

·         Live to be 100: Living to be 100 years old means you have lived well and have experienced a lot throughout your life. I want to be 100 to feel as if I accomplished something in my life even if I had done nothing.

·         Vacation in every continent: Going to every continent would mean that I have seen a lot of things. A trip around the world would change my life because I would see things that might change my perspective about different world issues.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Case For High-School Sports (Response to Amanda Ripley)

            High-schools offer many activities throughout the school year. Most of these activities bring much joy to the students participating in them. Some of these activities are the sporting teams for the school. Some people believe that, “we [The United States] lag in international education rankings,” (Ripley), because the schools are too interested in athletics as opposed to academics. However, high-school sports are essential to the overall well-being of the student-athletes in every high school.
            High-school students learn important lessons for their futures in the world. As a student-athlete myself, I get to interact with my teammates to help achieve a common goal: to win the game. On the varsity golf team, our team also gets to interact with the other team often throughout the match. Throughout my years on the team, my teammates and I have learned many important life skills, including patience, good communication with others, and “lessons in sportsmanship and perseverance,” (Ripley). Playing allows me and my teammates to also learn how to strive towards a goal. These lessons will be applied to all of my work now and into the future. Some people, like Ripley, believe that even if the students learn these life skills, they might not know the academic skills needed to succeed if they do not succeed academically. Athletics and academics are hard to balance sometimes, but it is the student’s responsibility to seek help if they are struggling with their schoolwork as a result of their athletics. The student can be tutored to help understand the academics better, and there is always the option of taking a little time off from the sport in order to catch up with their schoolwork. Then, once they are able to balance their sport and their schoolwork effectively, the student can rejoin the team and learn both academic and life skills for the future.
            High-school sports can help a student get involved within their school. Throughout high-school, administrators encourage students to get involved within the school, whether that means joining a club or honor society, or whether that means competing in a sport. According to a 2012 survey of ACT-tested high school graduates, about half of the students were joined in an extracurricular activity in their high school. Within that, 45% of the students competed as varsity athletes in their school (Extracurricular Activities: High School Participation and Planned Participation in College). If sports were not available in high schools, there would be a significantly less amount of students who would be part an extra-curricular in their school. Extra-curricular activities also look very good on a college application, and if these student-athletes were not able to play their sport in high-school, their college applications will be less impressive. A person who disagrees with high-school sports might suggest creating more clubs and activities within the school to get more students involved. However, these new clubs and activities might not interest students who are unable to play their sport, making the number of students in extra-curricular activities still low. In order to keep students active within the school, we need to keep the students in their school sports.
            Imagine a student who receives decent grades in the classroom but excels in the sport that they play. When they are able to play in high school, newspapers report on the action taking place on the field. These reporters write articles about the action, and that student is mentioned in the newspaper for their athletic achievement. Any student would be excited and honored that they are mentioned in the newspaper, and this could be the only recognition that they receive in high school. High-school sports allow student-athletes to be recognized for their athletic achievements if they are not able to have any academic recognition, such as honor roll. These acknowledgements make the student feel as if they are important to the world, and could encourage them to do better in every aspect of life; this includes a better academic career. A student could get caught up in their athletic achievements that they ruin their academics, but if they begin to struggle in school, there will be no more athletic recognition since the student will be academically ineligible. The student can see him or herself in the paper and want to see themselves again. To make it there again, they strive to do well in school so they do not become ineligible to participate. Athletic recognition would not be possible if there were no high-school sports, so we need these sports to help motivate students to do well in everything.
            If high-school students were not allowed to play their sport, they would not be academically motivated; less involved in their school, and not learn important skills to be used in the future. Overall, students are better off with sports being offered in high schools than if sports were not offered.

Works Cited

Ripley, Amanda. "The Case Against High-School Sports." The Atlantic October 2013: 72-78. Print.

Unknown. "Extracurricular Activities: High School Participation and Planned Participation in College." 2013. Web.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Rhetoric Word Examples From Cell Phone Article

The link for the article is here:

Some, like Bruce Newman; an editor for an AAA magazine,”
“Hilary Davis, a journalist for The Rocky Mountain College paper,”

We all remember the tragic day, April 20th 1999, the awful Columbine High School Shooting. Two students opened fire on many innocent people that day. Frantic 911 calls were made. Dispatchers and parents were on the line with students using their cell phones to call out for help. Imagine the heart ache if you knew someone dear to you was in danger and you had no way to reach them.
“CRASH!! You were driving down the highway on a rainy day, when a driver loses control and slams right into you. After you are done spinning out, you reach for your cell phone; with the last amount of energy you have left to call 911.  This simple call could save your life, or someone else.”

“In a study published by the AEI-Brookings Joint Center, a team of researchers compared the effects of driving while talking on the phone and driving while drunk. They concluded that drivers that were using cell phones exhibited greater impairment than intoxicated drivers.

So don't be the guy who ruins everyone's movie by keeping your cell on. Cells need to be used with moderation and responsibility.”
“Many cell phone customers buy their phones with only emergency use intentions.”

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My Pet Peeves

1.    1.  People Who Do Not Think Golfers Are Athletes: I have heard time and time again from my friends that golfers are not athletes. I have played on the NHS golf team for three years now, and I tend to disagree a lot. For the golf team, I have to stand up for over two hours during a round. At the same time, I have to carry a ten-pound golf bag with clubs for over two miles. I need a lot of stamina and endurance to do this. That does not even talk about the golf swing, with involves a lot of flexibility as well as strength in every single part of the body to hit the golf ball long and straight. When I hear someone say this to me, I get frustrated because they do not understand how much hard work it took to get me in shape to play this sport, and I really wish everyone could see the things golfers have to do to play well.
2.  2.    Comments People Say to Me When They Get a Better Grade: For years, people have been comparing their success in school to mine. I have always been a good student, but sometimes I do not do my best and receive a lower grade than one of my classmates. Whenever someone gets a better grade than me, I always hear, “Wow, I can’t believe I beat Louis.” I am a normal human being, and all human beings make mistakes, so you do not have to rub in my face how you beat me. One grade is not everything, and I just get really annoyed how people think one better grade is the best accomplishment of their school careers.
3.    3.  Nicolas Cage: This guy is in too many movies. I turn on the television and all I see is Nicolas Cage. He has to stop being in so many movies. Also, his voice is very weird. It seems very dark and spooky even though he has been in a decent amount of movies that little kids watch (i.e. National Treasure). He is scaring away little kids, and he is scaring me away from his movies because that voice is just too bizarre.
4.   4.   NFL Commentators: To me, all NFL commentators just hate the Patriots. I love the Patriots with all my heart, but the commentators just ruin the games for me. When the Pats score a touchdown, “it is the defense’s fault”, not because the offense made a good play. When the opposing team makes a good play, it is the “Patriot’s fault for not stopping that team”. Almost every commentator does this, and it sickens me that the Patriots are treated this way. All I want is for these commentators to give some credit to the Patriots. That is all that I want.
5.   5.   People Who Stop Texting For No Reason: I hate it when I am talking to a friend, and they just stop talking. We had been talking for a while, and my friend just leaves without any acknowledgement. They do not say, “Hey, got to go,” or, “Need to do something. Be right back.” They just leave the conversation without telling me so. Is that how my friend would act in an actual conversation? No. For some reason, though, it is okay to do that when texting. I just sit there and wait, but there will never be any reply. It hurts my feelings when someone just leaves and does not tell me they are leaving. I just want to know so I can move on with my day.
6.  6.    My Mother While I Am Driving: I got my learner’s permit for driving in June, and ever since then I have driven with my mother a lot of times. As she is sitting next to me while I am driving, she tends to make sudden movements to indicate that she is worried about something. For example, when she sees a car five hundred feet away from out from a driveway, she flinches and slams down on an imaginary brake hoping that I stop in time. What she does not know is that I was already on the brakes before she made those motions. It annoys me because when she makes those motions, it puts a feeling in me that she does not trust my driving, which I really do not like. What upsets me more is that I ask her to stop making these movements because it makes me nervous, but she still tends to do them anyway. I guess it is a mom thing to do this, but I still do not like when she does this.
7.   7.   Infomercials: Some infomercials are on too many times. Sometimes, when I am watching a show on television, I see the same infomercial three or four times. Then, I change the station to watch a different show, and that same infomercial in on that station. After a while, I start to memorize the dialogue from these commercials because they are on so much. I do not want to memorize the dialogue of an infomercial; it takes up space in my brain, and I do not want useless items in my brain. The TV stations can show an infomercial one or two times within a few hour period but they do not have to torture me and others by putting the same thing on three or four times within an hour.

8.    8.  Easton, MA Cell Reception: I sometimes go to Borderland State Park, Target, Shaw’s, and other places near the Five Corners area of Easton. For some odd reason, I always get a phone call from someone while I am in a car on Route 106 as I am going to Five Corners. The problem with that is that the cell receptions in that part of town is terrible, and whenever I get a call, I cannot hear the other person speak through the phone. I want to hear the other person, and it annoys me how sometimes I cannot hear them. Every conversation is important to me, and if Easton’s cell reception cannot give me my important conversation through my phone, then my life is now different than if I answered the call regularly.