Tag Archives: Blog Post 2 – Connected Writing

Bullies are Cowards Proven By me!

Are you bully? If yes, you already know what I will be talking about so read my other blogs. Or have you seen bully person. If yes, what do you remember about them. They are loud and show off other people what they are doing. I can tell you this, bully person is coward in nature because they only target those they perceived as weaker, so long as you remain passive and complaint, you make yourself target. You should never stay complaint hoping that they will come to their sense and one day stop bullying you. Most people will you that to place yourself in a position where you can safely protect yourself and you might ask, how about bully how is bigger than you. I will tell you otherwise, be willing to bully the bully themselves until they know that you are not weaker person. I remember friend of mine who was smaller in size but was most feared person in our group. If older guys bully him, he will start fight every time he sees that person. Whether they are ready for fight or dressed up for wedding, o mourning for their mothers’ grave. I am not suggesting you bully but I will tell you that make bully to never ever bully you because if you let them once, it will be haunting you forever

Honestly – Option A or Option B(ee)?

Seriously…honestly tell me which option sounds better: A) cranking up your smoke belching monster of a mower to keep up with the Jones’s next door to see which of you can create the most greenhouse gases possible, pollute our water supplies, and contribute BILLIONS of dollars to a lawn industry that results in only causing damage to the environment and your pocket book or B) spending the afternoon lounging in your green lawn, feeling the soft carpet of clover beneath your feet, maybe finding a four leaf clover or two, and knowing in the back of your mind that you are making the right decision to keep your property in a pollinator friendly matter that also happens to be a huge benefit in keeping green house gas emissions in check? I know my answer…

In my previous blog post https://mdst485class.wordpress.com/2019/05/21/yep-im-that-neighbor/ , I discussed the importance of switching lawns back to their native prairie status for a variety of reasons. Currently, I am part of a group project focusing on climate change, specifically what behaviors can individuals do to reduce their impact of greenhouse gases on the environment. While researching I came upon this article: https://healthylandethic.com/2012/10/03/the-unbearable-ubiquitousness-of-mowing/. It discusses many of the values of leaving your lawn in a native state. Did you know that Americans use 800 million gallons of gas annually on their lawns alone (the average lawnmower emits as much greenhouse gas as FORTY cars running for just one hour?), over $5.2 billion in fertilizers that come form fossil fuels, and over $700 million in pesticides? Also, two-thirds of the drinking water consumed in the U.S. is used on lawn watering. This doesn’t even go into the damage that lawns do to our critical pollinator populations. A lush “perfect” green lawn is one of the greatest acts of unsustainability that there is.

Please forgive my rant – but these are issues of importance to me. People have often viewed my opinions as being on the outside of traditional lawn ideas. However, things are beginning to change, and individuals are showing an increased desire to preserve pollinators and their habitats (and at the same time make an impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions). An encouraging sign of this has been the State of Minnesota recently passing a spending plan to assist homeowners in restoring their lawns to native habitats: http://www.startribune.com/program-pays-minnesota-homeowners-to-let-their-lawn-go-to-the-bees/510593382/?refresh=true . Full details of how the plan will be allocated are still to be determined, but grants should be available for the spring of 2020.

The Minnesota spending bill is a major step in pushing these issues out into the forefront of the public view. I am involved personally in many local and national pollinator/prairie groups and there is a great interest in the spending bill. There have been tens of thousands of hits, links, comments, and posts online since it passed earlier this week. On an interesting side note, I have received a couple dozen DMs from people I only know as an online ID asking if I have information on the program. Also, as of this morning, over 35 of my personal friends (many of who have accused me of being a bit militant on these subjects), have reached out to me as well about it.

There is still a long way to go, but it feels good on a personal level to see such a sudden burst of interest from the mainstream on a subject I’ve been involved with for a while now. And if you need my answer – option A is the way I go every time (when I’m not working on working on creating more prairie in my yard).

Navigating Gender Identity in a Post-Pronoun Apocalypse.

Why should we care what people want to be addressed as? Why do people care how they are addressed? Why is this suddenly such a big deal?

These are all very deeply personal questions and have significantly different answers depending on who you talk to. If you have never questioned your role in the world regarding your gender then it may seem like people are making a mountain out of a mole hill. But if you personally have, or know someone close to you that as been affected by the feeling of not fitting in your role or body, then the questions start to become more understandable.

If I walked up to a very masculine man on the street and said “Excuse me Ma’am” chances are he would be at the very least confused and at worst seriously offended. Or if I am discussing a woman who is clearly feminine by saying “he and his”, this not only causes confusion but makes us question what our eyes are seeing. People are people, we all look different, act different and fill our roles in society differently. Society is the one that dictates what those roles should look like, not NATURE.

The idea of rebelling against gender roles in the US is not new. Girls have played with trucks and boys with dolls since the beginning of time, it is how these children were treated by the adults in their lives that has made the definitions required in our society. It is perfectly natural for children to play in order to find their place in this world. The colors that society has assigned to each sex, the ideas that boys are strong, and girls are delicate, and the belief that masculine and feminine should be a zero sum argument is outdated and damaging our society as a whole.

If someone tells you their pronouns, just use them as requested. You don’t need to overthink it, you don’t have to match body parts with words. If you identify as a woman and your preferred pronouns are she/her then you wouldn’t want someone to call you he/his; so that logic follows that you should respect others wishes simply for that reason alone. It isn’t rocket science.


Gender-dysphoria https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/gender-dysphoria/what-is-gender-dysphoria

Gender Non-conforming




Land Development Leads to Increased Flooding?

With all the news about all the hurricanes causing so much flooding this season, I keep hearing a lot of hype about climate change and end-of-days scenarios. I think maybe we should sit down and think about this from a more practical view point: land development.

I know what you’re thinking: “what does land development have to do with hurricanes?”

Hurricanes happen. Maybe they happen more regularly, or more powerfully due to increased ocean temperatures, right? Yes, both of those things are true.

But why do we really have all this record flooding all over the place? It doesn’t even have to be caused by a hurricane. Houston has been experiencing increased flooding in recent history. With devastating and costly effects.

Houston has always been an area known for flooding, so why has it just recently began to see increased rates and severity of flood? Even major flooding outside of the areas of Houston designated as flood zones.

Well, my somewhat-educated-guess is that it has a lot to do with urban development and poor city planning. They have paved over much of their prairie region, which would normally absorb much of the water that is now sitting on the concrete and asphalt with nowhere to drain. I mean, there’s a reason it’s called a “flood plain.”

Houston flood maps were struggling to predict damage before Harvey, study says

Prairie and grasslands allow for a lot of water to be absorbed, in both the land itself and in the bodies of water found in these regions. Having grasslands and prairies in tact and in range of the flood zones could have greatly reduced the amount of water left standing in the city. And while it would not likely reduce the frequency or strength of the storms, it could reduce the frequency and severity of the flooding they cause.

This could reduce the damage and costs associated with the storms, and even the fatalities cause by them.


Sugar High(s) + Lows

Initially, when the class was given the choice between food, culture, and gender topics for our projects, I was drawn to food. Not for the obvious reasons (although I am a self-proclaimed foodie), but because I was recently inspired by a documentary called ‘That Sugar Film”.

This is how it always starts, right? You watch a documentary that turns your life upside-down, and next thing you know, you’re buying into a whole new lifestyle? Well, that’s exactly what happened to me, go-figure.

“That Sugar Film” is about one man’s journey to discover the bitter truth about sugar. As it turns out, humans were never meant to consume this sticky substance in any form, including ‘healthy food’. Now I don’t want to kill the film, but I promise it will forever change the way you think about everything from salad dressing to juicing an apple.

Bonus! This film is not only wickedly entertaining, but it is also free to view for Amazon Prime subscribers.

You do realize that as a student you’re entitled to a free 6-month trial of Amazon Prime, right? I guess that means you’ll be spending Memorial Day weekend educating yourself on the dangers of sugar and rolling in all the free two-day shipping you can afford.

You’re welcome.

#blogpost2 #connectedwriting

The Manchester Attack and Different Approaches To News Storytelling

Hi everyone,
Like many people, I’ve been walking around with a heavy heart because of the horrifying suicide bombing at the Manchester Arena on Monday. My Facebook news feed has been filled with an endless supply of articles about the attack — breaking updates, recaps, biographies of the victims and opinion pieces. All of this reading has really demonstrated the difference in news storytelling between the more “traditional” news outlets and newer, Millenial-focused publications. The former is still focused on long-form, newspaper-like articles and the latter uses more images, multimedia and information shared in tweet-like tidbits.
Take this article from The New York Times. It’s a great piece that both updates the reader on the increased terror levels as well as give a recap of everything that’s happened since the attack occurred. The voice is formal and professional — it definitely feels like a global newspaper. Moreover, the paragraphs are long and the language is fairly academic. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this style, as the Times is often considered the best newspaper in the world.
In contrast, there’s this BuzzFeed article. For one thing, it’s a “developing story” type article, which acts more of a social feed. As updates are created by the editorial team, they’ll get pushed to that link. This is nice, because it can be a one-stop-shop for all info on the attack, including the latest updates. There’s also no need to hunt down a bunch of links. But the different tone and style is what is so different from the Times. Beautiful images, embedded social posts and links fill the page. The paragraphs are short, bite-sized and succinct. There doesn’t seem to be a single wasted word. The language also feels like it’s catered for younger, social media-savvy readers.
In conclusion, I am not trying to make a judgement over which style is “better” — although I do appreciate the highly visual, succinct style of the Buzzfeed article — but rather demonstrate how journalism and storytelling are advancing and changing. The Times is sticking with its tried-and-true style, which originated in their newspaper, while Buzzfeed is taking advantage of digital and social media to its full capacity.
Thoughts? Thanks!

Clutter = Weight Gain, Who Knew??

OK I’ll admit it; I’m a bit of a control freak.

I like rules and order they give me balance and a sense of place to exist within.  StressGenerally this translates to multiple areas of my life but since starting school I was finding myself just feeling out of control.

Within the last few years my grandmother passed away and while it wasn’t unexpected the sheer volume of stuff we as a family had to go through and make sense of was voluminous.

Continue reading Clutter = Weight Gain, Who Knew??

Wanderlust and the American Dream

Wikipedia definition: Wanderlust is a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world.

I’ve been bitten by the wanderlust bug. This isn’t a recent development; I’ve always been a wanderer, dreaming of exploring distant lands, meeting new people, and trying new things. Part of the reason I write is because I can create those places, people, and ideas on the page. It opens up a new world, an escapism, for others to enjoy.


Writing, though, isn’t a replacement for the desire to travel. In fact, I’ve realized my impulse to just go somewhere gets stronger every day. I find myself checking airline prices and reading travel blogs, daydreaming about when I might be able to stop living vicariously through other peoples’ pictures, stories, and happiness. Wouldn’t it be great to just get up, hop on a plane, and fly to Japan? Or backpack through the countryside of France and sip wine with the locals? I would, in a heartbeat, snap up a ticket to Thailand to visit a place that has different thoughts, experiences, and attitudes than my own.

Continue reading Wanderlust and the American Dream

Political Flip Floppers Anonymous

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Do you trust these people?

A post shared by Mark Rangen (@super.important) on

Its election season again and just like every other American you’ve seen enough politics to be done for the next 4 years and its not even November yet. one of the things you’ve surely seen is at least one circumstance of a candidate attacking another candidate. Often times they can get quite personal with their attacks. In this cycle, I feel like the presidential debates were more insults than politics.

Continue reading Political Flip Floppers Anonymous