Bullying Burgers?

So here I am ready to complete some assigned reading for the week, and I find myself immediately stopping all of it to write this blog post. Why? Well after reading for a while I thought I would check Facebook just to see what’s new, and the first post to pop up was this.

 

Now I don’t know about you, but I didn’t expect to watch a video as powerful as that from a fast food joint. But there I was, sitting in my chair, and thinking “Wow, why is this affecting me so much?”. Well, the truth is, I was in that kid’s shoes once upon a time; trying to enjoy a good meal with people, only to have it turn into a bully fest. What makes this commercial so upsetting is the minimal amount of people that actually stood up for that kid, a sad reality in K-12 schools today. In fact, approximately 1.2 million students are bullied each year, and of that number, 160,000 students stay home from school because of bullying, according to DoSomething.org. I’ve heard a lot of people say that bullying is supposed to “make kids stronger” or “teach them how to stand up for themselves”. However, the only goal that bullying accomplishes is making people feel degraded and diminishing self-esteem and confidence.

I’m currently taking Psychology 102 in school, and I just took a test on social psychology (the fun stuff). There’s one term in particular that I found as an explanation to people’s lack of intervention, and that is Diffusion of Responsibility. It’s a pretty interesting term, and I’m going to geek out and explain it; it is a phenomenon that occurs when a person is less likely to take responsibility for action or inaction when others are present (Wikipedia). In a real-world setting, I usually see it occur when a teacher asks for a volunteer to answer a question in class. We sit there for a few seconds, looking around the room to see who will actually answer, but there is great reluctance because we all think that “someone else will do it”. My question is why can’t that someone be you?

I’ll end on this story; when I was bullied in middle school and high school, not a lot of people stood up for me. I guess because it was the “norm” to get bullied. On one particular bully session, this girl who I only barely knew stepped in and literally put these kids in their place. It made me feel as though I wasn’t alone, and that I was worth something. She is my best friend to this day, 5 years later (love you, Lex). So, all that being said, don’t bully people. Go buy some Whoppers Jr’s from Burger King and bully them instead.

“A Positive Attitude Is A Powerful Force”

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Have you ever met someone and thought, wow, they are just so…happy. Like contagiuously happy? It’s ok if you haven’t, because it’s very rare to run into someone who just exudes happiness constantly. Lucky for me, I ran into that person in a very random place.

It was Wednesday evening and I just arrived in the Windy City from Boston. I was tired, I was hungry, but most of all, I was just nervous for all the city had in store for me. After waiting thirty minutes to retrieve my bag from the carousel, I made my way outside to do what most people do nowadays when leaving an airport; request a Uber.

Now going into this, my Uber experiences have been extremely sub par, from cars that wreaked of weed, to drivers who blared country music in my ears (I go to school in Indiana, it happens), and even drivers who found it necessary to speed and run red lights to my destination. That all changed, however, when a silver Chevy Malibu pulled up curbside and out popped Darren. Now this gentleman is without a doubt the most customer service oriented person I have ever met, and let me explain why. As soon as I walked up to his vehicle, and asked if I could throw some stuff in the trunk, he didn’t just pop his trunk. He got out of the vehicle, shook my hand, and put my bags in the back by himself; a kind gesture that spoke louder than words ever could. The real fun started when I got in the back. Darren took the time to walk me through some of the perks in his vehicle, including complimentary water in the doors, mints and gum in the rear console, and even a light installed right behind the passenger seat allowing me to read. Along with that, I was given the option to both choose my temperature and radio station (smooth jazz, obviously).

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But what really made Darren shine was his personality, one that could make even the saddest of people smile in an instant. We talked about life, relationships, college, Bobby Knight, Princess Diana, and even Chicago’s Rock and Roll McDonald’s. If there was ever someone who exemplified genuine happiness, I could think of no one else. Not only did I experience and learn about all that Chicago had to offer, but I gained a friend. So thank you, Darren. Hope to have you down in Bloomington sometime for a football game.

To Those In The Medical Field & Those Getting There; Thank You

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Medicine has always fascinated me. I remember walking around with my Fisher Price Medical Kit when I was young, checking the blood pressure of my patients (basically only my mom), giving her “shots”, and putting a band-aid on her to stop the imaginary bleeding. For the longest time I thought that medicine would be the path I would choose for my career, but fast forward a few years and I hung up my stethoscope and medical kit as I realized it wasn’t for me. But I’m just one drop in a very large ocean; there are a lot of passionate, intelligent people venturing out to join the medical field on a daily basis. Some of whom are very close friends who are trying to become the next best surgeons, nurses, occupational therapists, and even physical therapists.

What prompted this post? Well The other day I woken up by my mom asking me if I could give her a ride to the hospital. I reluctantly agreed. Not because I didn’t want to help my mom, but because driving through hospital grounds is a sad experience for me. Let me explain; you see a lot of different faces on the grounds of a hospital, but there are 2 faces that you are guaranteed to see very quickly; dread and emptiness. The dread face is visible on patients who are on their way into the hospital, fearing potentially damaging news  about their health. The empty face is primarily visible on patients that walk out of the hospital, ones that have received some sort of bad news that hasn’t sunk in. I feel for these two types of people, and it makes me somewhat emotional when I put myself in their shoes. And seeing your own mother walk into a hospital? It’s something that, as a son or daughter, you never hope to witness.

When I came back a few hours later to pick her up, she told me something that warmed my heart. Her doctor who oversees the entire department noticed that she was was feeling especially stressed that morning. She sat down with my mom and talked to her for her for close to 30 minutes about what was on her mind, trying to calm her down. I don’t know about you, but when a person of higher authority in any organization takes time out of their strenuous schedule just to have a long conversation with a person in need, it shows extreme humbleness (at least in my eyes). Later on, her nurse made an appearance, and she too recognized that my mom wasn’t herself. She sat down and talked to my mom about her journey from Haiti and how she became a nurse, a story that took my mother’s mind off of things. She later shared with me that she felt “comforted” knowing that her doctors and nurses care about her, not only as a patient, but as a person.

So, to all of you in the medical field, thank you. Thank you for studying for several years, learning the human body inside and out, researching until late at night, and working shifts until the wee hours of the morning. But most importantly, thank you for taking care of my family. And to all of my friends working towards a career in the medical field, keep grinding daily, because I trust no one more with my life than you!

Thanks for reading.

 

The Three Great Ones

 

 

If you’ve ever watched A Bronx Tale, then you’re familiar with the wisdom filled words of Sonny; “You’re only allowed three great women in your lifetime, kid.” Well, I’d like to make the same argument about cars. How so you may ask? Well think about it, if you’re a car guy like me then the most important date in your life is when you first get your license, and what typically follows is the purchase of your first car (the first great one). Once you graduate college, it’s time to trade in your high school purchase for a car that’s business on the outside but an absolute party under the hood (the second great one). And the third great one comes later on in your life, when you’ve found stability in both your family and financial life, and you decide to treat yourself to the car that has been on your ‘To Own’ list for years (the third and final great one).

A perfect example of this theory can be found in Richard Rawlings of Gas Monkey Garage and his TV show Fast N’ Loud. This is a man who, according to TheRichest.com, has an estimated net worth of $15 Million. Yet, of all the cars that this man can buy, the one he always wanted back was a 1974 Mercury Comet; the first car he owned. He managed to track it down and build it up to the way he wanted in high school, pictures of which can be found here. And to add to that, an episode last year saw Richard flipping more than 6 cars in order to purchase the first car he ever built, one which was irreplaceable, defined his career as a car builder, and one that he needed to buy back at all costs.

 

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Gas Monkey Garage’s Irreplaceable Build; A 1952 Chevrolet Fleetline Rat Rod

 

For some reason, today I felt a strong yearning to have my first car back in my possession, and it hit me that I sold it last year around this time. My first great one, with me for two years and gone the next, just like that. For my fellow car people out there who see their vehicle as more than just a means of transportation; enjoy every moment you have with it, because one day you too will move on from your first great one and all you’ll be looking forward to is the next two and the memories they have in store for you.

American Muscle Vs. Italian Supercar, Tokyo Drift Style; Monster’s Newest Production

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A Lamborghini Murcielago is, for some, the dream car of all ages. I actually have a poster of one in my room, although, I must admit, it was not as impressive as the one featured below…

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Ladies and gents, I present to you, the world’s first Lamborghini drift car.

Who is the lucky owner you may ask? Well his name is Daigo Saito and he is a professional drifter (yes, that is actually a thing). The car you see is the newest addition to his fleet of drift cars for Monster Energy, which is why the color scheme includes that iconic neon green. Although he may have a vast array of Japanese drift cars for Monster, nothing compares to this 650 HP, V12 monstrosity.

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This AWD to RWD converted supercar had it’s first proper introduction to the world on Youtube just 2 days ago on the 15th of December, where it was was involved in a drift race with none other than the iconic Vaughn Gittin Jr. and his Ford Mustang RTR powered by a 550 HP Ford Performance 5.0 Aluminator Engine (pictured below/left).

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Italian Supercar + American Muscle + Insane Drift Sequences = Almost 1 Million Hits on Youtube in less than three days. Monster seems to have the best formula for attracting the most attention on the internet. See for yourself, check out the #BattleDrift video posted below and prepare to be blown away!

 

Yik Yak, more like Yik YUCK

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A new craze has struck the North and South shores of Massachusetts in recent weeks, and this would be the relatively unique app known as Yik Yak. Originally designed for the use of college students looking to post updates about campus news, the app has found its way onto the devices of young adults in high school and middle school. According to the description on the App Store, Yik Yak is a “local bulletin board for your area by showing the most recent posts from other users around you.” Using the GPS in your device, the app is able to display all posts within a 1.5 mile radius in a Twitter-like format.

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In an interview with the Today Morning Show, co-founders Tyler Droll and Brooks Buffington stated that the app was created to “help connect people in a creative way.” But there’s one question that these two co-founders have neglected to answer, and that is: How can people truly connect with one another without actually knowing who they are connecting with?

The one thing you have to know about this app before you download it is that there are no names, no locations, no faces, no privacies whatsoever. Everything that is “Yak’d” in your area is 100% anonymous. And this poses a BIG problem; since Yaks are anonymous, it provides an open gateway for cyber bullying to occur. And the worst part? Once someone creates a Yak about you, it is there until the Yak receives a certain amount of dislikes, then the posting gets deleted automatically. Users are allowed to comment on Yaks as well, and comments may also get deleted once they receive a certain amount of dislikes. Before you post a Yak, you are greeted by a list of 6 mandatory rules that you must follow always, and all you have to is simply hit the “Agree” button in the top right hand corner of your device.

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I first heard about this app from some of my friends who live on the South Shore. Apparently, things got so out of hand in the town of Hingham that the police had to step in and take control. Now, not only is the app banned from public schools in Hingham, but the police are monitoring all Yaks in the area. The same story can be said about towns such as Quincy, Marblehead, and Hanover, as all of these towns have had cases of cyber bullying, school threats, and even suicidal comments all on Yik Yak outside of school.

But how does all this affect BHS? Well, the app is only starting to grow amongst students (even though it was released last December), and negative posts have already been surfaced in Burlington.

Whenever you try and access Yik Yak at BHS or near any public school grounds, you receive this message:

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Still, although the message states that the Yik Yak is made for the use of “adults only”, what stops a middle or even high schooler from downloading and using the app when it fails to ask for your age or date of birth?

Now, personally, having been on the other end of cyber bullying as a kid, I would try my best to stay away from such an app because it can be used as a tool of absolute destruction towards someone. Used correctly, I think that this app would be an absolute hit in town by posting updates about school events and other such happenings. But it only takes a handful of people to turn an app with good intentions into one that can be utilized for hostile motives.

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DPais Rating: 2/10
Reasoning: Although it looks user friendly and may have been a great idea on paper, the lack of thought towards how it may be used negatively in a public school setting in the cyber bullying environment we live in today, plus the fact that there is no necessity for registering for an account have earned Yik Yak a 2/10 on my scale. Stick to Twitter ladies and gents.