Friday, April 23, 2010


During the readings this week in class I had a flashback to my earlier childhood. When I was little we would take a long road trip every so often. My favorite trip is the year I first went out west. We spent a total of a month traveling the west and ending the trip at my grandmother’s house in Las Vegas. My parents and my two older sisters packed in my family’s vehicle and pulled a small pop-up camper throughout the West. We visited many historic sites and national parks. That trip I got the chance to visit Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Mt. Rushmore, and others. I will never forget that first time we visited Yellowstone national park. I loved it from the very moment I laid eyes on the national park. The animals that would roam such as buffalo and dear caught my eye as a little kid. I thought it was astonishing you could drive around the corner and se snow on the mountain during the summer months. I also got the opportunity to ride a donkey into the Grand Canyon which I still remember years later. That summer was the first long trip I had ever had. I was only six years old but I can remember some parts of that trip like it was yesterday. I have since been back out West many times but that first trip as a child holds a special spot in my heart. When reading this week it really hit home with me. As Americans summer vacation has almost become a tradition. As the book states, since World War II summer vacation really started to take tradition in American lives. If I ever get married I will certainly gives the great memories of a summer vacation that my parents gave me.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


This week’s writing assignment was unique compared to any other I have had in college. It made me think about how a change in scenery or a place could make you bring about different thoughts. When you really view the scenery and take in nature it can quite inspiring. It also made me think how much I enjoyed nature. For a couple of year I have not enjoyed nature like the previous year before. I used to go hiking quite often and fish the rivers of western North Carolina and North Georgia. It seems I have gotten too busy to do anything in nature like before. Nature can be very relaxing and used to help me with stresses of everyday life. When my father and I would taking hiking trip for days it would be some of the best times of my life. I took in nature and enjoyed the surroundings. When you are in nature the world is an after thought. I remember the state of mind I held on those hiking trips was much superior than the state of mind I continue to have every day.
It makes me wonder if I need to take off time and go immerse myself in nature. I think everyone at times should do this because I believe it would help each individual. It might not have the same effect that it has on me but it will have an effect. Like me many people are just too busy but we should all make time.

Monday, April 12, 2010


This week my journal summary was on the NCAA basketball tournament. I was very happy to see this article in the database. The article showed how significant the American public believed the NCAA tournament has become. When writing this journal summary I was thinking about this years NCAA tournament. A Cinderella in Butler who was thought to have no chance at the beginning of the tournament made it the championship game. It just shows how every team had a chance if they make it to the tournament. In other collegiate sports the big named universities have the chance and the smaller teams are put to the side. Being that the tournament had just finished I thought it was a great time to read this article. I was still in the tournament mode and thought the journal article was a great read. I did think that the author of the article gave the tournament too much significance. It’s just a sport and the author gave it religious type significance. I didn’t like that aspect about the article because I believe you should separate religion form everything else. Especially when you are describing a game that should be played for fun. Then it made me think how crazy Americans are for their sports. These teams we root for becomes part of our lives. When looking at it we have no impact on the outcome of the game. Even still we go crazy if teams you like lose. I think as a whole Americans take their sports too serious.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

spring break post

After watching the movie on the influence of television in American culture, it seems that most of the population is influenced in some way by television. I never really noticed until it was put under the microscope. Personally I watch in my opinion too much television. Many of the shows featured on the program I had watched before more than once. I believe that it’s an issue with the youth in today’s society. Instead of being active the television is what they waste their time on when they are not in school. It made me think about all the kids in today’s society growing up watching these television shows. In today’s time reality television had taken us by storm. They are often horrible shows which just show people in everyday life. Instead of watching someone in everyday life I believe the American people need to get out and enjoy life and not be influenced by a make believe television shows. If this happens I believe the active lifestyle will go up and that the obesity percentage in children would be lowered. If the parents step up and make their kids more active instead of letting them watch television all day it could save some of their lives when they are older. Television shows are not the only issue video games are also a big issue because kids often take them to a different level. In closing I believe parent should make their kids have an allotted time to do physical activity.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


I thought the reading this week was very interesting. It gave me a great insight to how things used to be during the 1950’s. I look at how things used to be and compare them to this generation. I think the men and women of the 1950’s were much tougher than the men and women of today. In class someone mentioned the main character to be a wimp. In my mind he was as far from a wimp as anyone could be. He was a paratrooper in the army and was dropped behind enemy lines many times. For someone to say he was a wimp I thought was outrageous. This is a fictional book but the author related to the generation after the war. Many men had a similar story to what Tom Rath and had experienced what many believe as the worst war in history. Yes, Tom Rath had many issues and often had the attitude to go with the flow no matter what happened. In my opinion this comes from the war because he often thought he would die in battle. He was going to be dropped no matter what he wanted to do and it was out of his control.
I don’t believe he was a wimp because he often didn’t care.
The book also made me wonder about people’s priorities then and now. In the 1950’s get a job, work hard, and make life for yourself. It made me think that people today are spoiled with all the advantages and technologies we have access to. I thought the book was a really good read and it made me think of how today is so much different.

Monday, February 15, 2010


The readings this week I thought were very interesting. Hayden’s research on the early stages of suburbs was fascinating. Even to think that at one time Brooklyn was referenced as a suburb. I also stared comparing the first suburbs to the suburbs that we have in the present. Most people who lived in the suburbs were very wealthy. Now many other people live in the suburb and in my opinion a lot of wealthy have moved back into areas of the city. Look at Buckhead for instance in Atlanta. Many cities have area were the wealthy live. As Hayden describes most people back when suburbs began had to be extremely wealthy and there were no middle class.
I also enjoyed looking at how transportation improved vastly in a short period of time. The first transportation showed was the Brooklyn ferry. Then shortly after omnibuses pulled by horses appeared. After this was in action for a while they discovered the street car. With the street car land speculators could find cheap land and sale due to the fact they would run a street car line out to the suburb. Even back in that time everyone was out for money. The land speculators were very sneaky and often had a political partner or friend.
Another aspect of the readings I thought was interesting was how people in the suburbs approved of gardening. Downing made a living on designing gardens and landscape for people. How you kept your lawn often showed status. Beecher was also mentioned as the designer of the inside of your home. Beecher wrote literature on how to create as much space with your home as possible. Hayden described her as being quite famous and popular for her writings on that issue. In all the Hayden’s first few chapters of her book show the begging stages of what is now a mostly suburban country.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


One question the teacher brought up in class was her use of Nye’s book. I thought the book was an excellent book for this class. It showed stages of American expansion and growth and the guide’s such as the axe, train, and others that helped the expansion. In the last chapter we read it discussed the positives and negatives of the train. It surprised me that the train grew so quickly in North America. The land was cleared so quickly and right behind them were the railroad. In my opinion without the railroad the country would have taken many years to expand. I can see the points of arguments that were brought up that countered railroad expansion. Men like Emerson didn’t like how nature was being affected by the growth of the railroad. Emerson was all for being at one with nature and his theory that men learned from nature and from being in it was being violated by railroad expansion. How you could be in nature and hear the railroad when you thought you were at one with nature vastly affected his thoughts on railroad expansion. It did link the country together and made it quite easy to sale goods and travel. Before they would put goods on a raft and float it down the river. This way of trading was vastly affected by area and weather. Water ways such as canals in the North often had hard times transporting goods in the winter. Railroad was much more affective and could go through cold winters and still be able to trade very efficiently. Railroads did have issues that were negative such as pollution, land speculators, and affecting nature. With these aside the positives I believe far out weight the negative of railroads.