Saturday, March 14, 2009

Is The Economy Pushing More Students Towards Graduate School

With the economy being so bad lately, and the reports of numerous layoffs and hiring freezes, it led me to wonder how many college students are looking at graduate school as a possibility to buy time.
Students who are graduating soon may feel a little overwhelmed, as I am, at the thought of not being able to find a job. I know that throughout my college years, I always knew it would be hard, especially in my field of Journalism, but I always figured I would find a position that I could start out in and work my way up to a position that I have always dreamed of. However, now I don’t know if I will even be able to find a job of any type.
While I have never thought of graduate school before, I now find that I am finding more and more people say, “Have you ever thought about going through graduate school?” This is driving me crazy. No, it’s never crossed my mind before and really, I want to go through more school no more than I want a pencil shoved in my eye.
I always dreamed of this time in my life where I could say, “I’m finished! I stuck to it, and I made it!” and now I have people telling me to go through graduate school to buy time. That’s not really an option for me because I am completely ready to starting working. I mean what happens if I go through graduate school and the economy still isn’t better? I would be 25 and just getting out of school with no experience, and more in debt with jobs still unavailable, not to mention, some employers may think that I would be over-qualified.
This idea doesn’t seem appealing to me but I was curious as to how many other people may be concerned about finding a job and considering furthering their career through graduate school.
“I am very worried about finding a job when I graduate college. I am supposed to graduate in December and have already pushed that back. I could have graduated this June but am buying more time. I am thinking about graduate school but am not really sure what to do! Honestly I would even take a babysitting position full time if I can't find a job, its just a scary market no one is hiring, especially in our field. I feel like so many more people are more qualified as well because I have no camera skills or any idea how to do final cut pro etc. I think the economy has really impacted me and my attitude towards finding a job,” says Rachel Plowden
Eric Lose who is already on the path to obtaining a doctorate says, “I am finishing my doctorate, and along with the degree comes massive student loan debt. The doctorate is necessary to get a college teaching job, but right now almost every college colleges has a hiring freeze. I am screwed, adjunct work pays less than McDonalds, but that's about all I can get right now. I am totally screwed for the time being.”
David Barnhorn, a senior says, “I am graduating at the end of the quarter and the economy has totally reshaped my plans. When the economy started hurting I wasn't worried and I continued to plan on taking the year off and working some. Luckily I went through all the prep to apply to law school still because the economy became very scary, very quickly. I decided to start law school fall 2009 and have been accepted. If I were going into the journalism market now, I would be scared to death. The market is extremely rough, papers are closing, layoffs are everywhere and no one knows where its going. Journalism skills also seem limited to writing, which is taking a hit everywhere; news, books, everything. I am definitely not going to law school to kill time until the economy gets better, but it did push me into it sooner than I might have intended.”
So, whether your thinking about grad school or not, there is no denying that the job market is slim and very competitive for all. Hopefully this downward spiral will start to get better for the sake of all the millions of people nationwide who have lost their jobs, and for the new graduates stepping out into the workforce for the very first time.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sex Offender Kills 13-year-old Esme Kenney

On Saturday, March 7, 2009, young Esme Kenney,13, went out for a jog near her Winton Woods home but never returned. Her body was found later that evening. She had been strangled by someone who had tried to sexually assault her.
Anthony Kirkland, 40, was found that same evening near the woods and was taken in for questioning. He is now being held for allegedly killing Kenney that fateful night.
Kirkland, a repeated felon, had been living in the Pogue Rehabilitation Center, located on West McMicken Avenue, but was released on February 27th after he got into a fight with another resident. This rehabilitation center currently houses 62 sex offenders, according to WCPO.
Kirkland had previously served 16 years in prison for beating Leola Douglas and then setting her on fire-she later died from her injuries.
Along with Douglas, there have now been questions as to whether he is the one responsible for three other deaths of women who were killed in the same manner. Authorities are currently investigating this possibility.
But how can this man, who has been charged in the death of one woman and has served time in prison for numerous other violent crimes be free on the streets?
The Pogue Rehabilitation Center is located in the middle of a large city and is near many schools and neighborhoods, but yet this is where many sex offenders are housed together.
This topic raises issues as to how sexual offenders should be kept away from the unsuspecting residents.
Since the death of Esme Kenney, most of the Cincinnati City Council members are asking for Gov. Ted Strickland to close the center.
Unfortunately, most of the public probably had no idea this center even existed (I know I didn't), and so this tragic death of a child comes as such a surprise. But how is it that all of these sex offenders can be housed up together and expected to stay out trouble? Is it that there is not enough money to be able to keep these sick individuals locked up somewhere and so they have to be trusted to live in the middle of a big city with many children, where they can easily prey upon innocent victims just as Kennedy did?
This is just a terrible way to have had awareness brought to the problem of sexual predators within neighborhoods.
Esme Kenney was a young girl with a very promising future ahead of her. She was a 7th grader at the School For Creative And Performing Arts (SCPA) where she had many friends who adored her, along with her family who will miss her very much.
This poor child had her life taken away from her way too soon and the people affected by her death will never forget how this may have been prevented had Mr. Kirkland still been in prison, doing time for all the violent crimes he has committed.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Are we Drugging our Kids with ADD Medications?

Today it seems as though there have been more cases of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) than ever before. I know I see commercials all the time about new and improved medications that can be used to treat ADD, but is it worth it? Do the pros really outweigh the negatives when placing a child on such a strong medication?
Many of the drugs used to treat ADD have very serious side effects like: dizziness, nausea, weight loss, loss of appetite, depression, and anxiety. In addition, many common drugs for ADD (such as Ritalin, Methylphenidate, Cylert), which have the same Class 2 classification as cocaine and morphine. So, is this really a safe way to treat ADD in children? I mean, I know that parents are probably concerned about their children and want them to be able to improve in school by paying better attention and concentrating more but are they willing to risk their child's health just to have them get better grades?
Damon Hafner is a tenth grader who was placed on Strattera at an early age and has seen the dramatic effects it has had, physically and emotionally. His teachers told Suzanne that he suffered from ADD because he was not concentrating at school and was not completing his work. Immediately she thought, “How can this be, he isn’t a problem at all. He’s a good kid”.
Right away, the doctors wanted to place him on either Concerta or Strattera even though he had never been given an Individual Education Plan Test (IEP), which is the test given to diagnose a learning disability in children.
After much debate, Suzanne decided to go ahead and place Damon on Dexedrine. She saw an immediate change in Damon. “He had a tremendous loss in appetite, became more moody, and still was not able to finish his school work”.
Even though these medications are being prescribed to children in order to help them concentrate at school, it is astounding to find that these drugs can sometimes cause serious issues in children who are still developing. Strattera is an FDA approved non-stimulant medication but yet the FDA sent out an advisory for the warning signs to be aware of. The FDA reported:
-Strattera increases the risk of suicidal thinking in children and adolescents with ADHD.
-Anyone considering the use of Strattera in a child or adolescent for ADHD must balance the increased risk of suicidal thinking with the clinical need for the drug.
-Patients who are started on therapy should be observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidal thinking or behaviors, or unusual changes in behavior.
-Families and caregivers should be advised to closely observe the patient and to communicate changes concerning behaviors with the prescriber. (
This is just one example of a drug that could have serious implications. All of the ADD medications have very serious side effects that could result in huge changes among young children who are still developing.
I think this is just sad that we are resorting to drugging our children with these dangerous medications instead of taking the time to find a more helpful way for these students to learn. Many people learn in many different ways, that's just human nature. But let's first try to help these kids in a healthy more hands-on approach before we take risks with these dangerous medications. Drugs are already a huge problem across the world so I think it would be best if we kept these medications to a minimum.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Octuplet Mother Outrage

In January, Nadya Suleman,33, gave birth to octuplets in California. At first everyone seemed excited about the new babies and were curious to learn more about the very proud mother. Only after the media got ahold of the story did the details really come out. Everyone then got to see the true motives this woman had, which in the end, set off much outrage across the globe.
Nadya already had six other children, three of which were special needs children. She then got impregnated again with six more embryos which turned out to be eight. All of these pregnancies were the result of In Vitro Fertilization. Nadya is neither married or in a relationship with anyone.
Scrutiny over the new mother came after the world found out, through records that Nadya is single, unemployed, living at home with her parents, and receiving food stamps and child disability payments.
It's not that I am against In Vitro Fertilization for women who can't have children or chose to get pregnant without a man in their life, however this woman already had six children that she clearly could not afford and then she went and had eight more. It just seems too outrageous to me that a woman who is getting help from the government and taxpayers is able to do this.
She is in pursuit of a master's degree at California State University, where she has already obtained a degree in child care development, all of which has been free to her.
So, this tells me that because this woman is irresponsible and had so many children without having adequate income, all of her school is payed for because she is a single mother. This truly bothers me because it shows that if you are responsible and do not get pregnant before your finished with school, you are punished in a way and are forced into debt the second you graduate. If you are a single mother, you are off free and clear with a free education.
Now if this woman truly needed the extra help, "for her children" then why in the world has she admitted to having lip injections and manicures? I know I don't have the money for things like that (not that I would want to) but that's not the point. I don't have that type of extra money because I am paying for my own school.d
This woman just completely infuriates me to no end because it just shows how irresponsible she is. She has put her own feelings ahead of her children by having eight more. She is clearly in it for the extra benefits she is getting from the government. Not to mention, she is asking for at least $2 million for each interview. That is so disgusting to me. She is exploiting herself and her children just to gain a ton of money.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

How is the Economy Affecting You?

With the economy being in a downward spiral recently, it is no wonder that college students are no exception to the affects that it is having on everyone. College is already expensive, and most students help to pay for their own tuition and work while their in school. Now, prices are rising, companies are having layoffs, and employers are even cutting back hours to try and save themselves from this gloomy era we have now entered.
Now, with these hard times, many students are finding that they are being forced to cut back on the things they love and are used to in order to survive and still be able to afford college.
Amy-Renee Stevens was under the impression that her schooling would be paid for by her parents with the help of the stock market. Unfortunately, she and her family were not able to forecast the downturn of the market. “If the stocks had continued in the up rise as they were in the 90's I would have 156,000 dollars in my college fund... Instead I have 36,000. I have had to apply for loans, but since FAFSA goes off the year before's taxes there was no help there. In order to still afford tuition I have moved back in with my parents, am trying to find someone to fill my apt, got a job, and don't enjoy any of the luxuries I once did,” says Amy.
As a result, Amy has now been picking up more hours than she ever has in order to save money for her own schooling.
Like Amy, other students from the University of Cincinnati are also finding themselves cutting back, even if that means cutting back at school. Amanda Woodruff says, “Driving/parking is overrated and unnecessary not too mention overly priced. By not parking my car at UC for class I save about $800 a year which is two months rent or four and half months worth of groceries.”
When gas prices rose, it really made people feel pain at the pump and thus, many people took the same approach that Amanda did and cut back on their driving and transportation means.
Although cutting back on your fuel intake is one way to save money, many other college students are cutting back in every little way they can. Jeff Geiser said, “I try not to spend money on things I can live without. Lately I've been packing my lunch and try to only eat what I bought at the grocery store. If I want to go out drinking on the weekends, I usually will pregame a lot this way I don't spend as much money at the bar.”
So, when it comes to the problems that people are facing with the economy and their money situations (or lack there of), know that you are not alone. Guesses are that it has affected you or someone you know. All I can say is that hopefully things get better soon, for all of us.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Is the Economy Pushing People Over the Edge?

It seems as though the economic downfall has had an effect on everyone recently. More and more people have found themselves cutting back on little things that they used to not think twice about, like eating out on their lunch breaks or stopping for that Cappacino in the morning. Many businesses and corporations have had to resort to laying off employees, giving pay cuts, or even offering early retirement to ease their hardships.
With these difficult times, it is clear that everyone seems to be suffering somewhat but to what extent? Over the past few years I think it's astonishing how many people have resorted to hurting themselves or even their family members out of desperation to escape it all and to "save themselves".
Fox news recently reported on a story where a family of 7 was found shot dead in their California home. Apparently, Ervin Lupoe was so distraught over he and his wife losing their jobs as medical technicians in a Los Angeles medical center, that he took the lives of his family members and then himself.
His children were an 8-year-old girl, twin 5-year-old girls, and twin 2-year-old boys.
Although this is a devastating story, it brings light to how serious the economy is affecting individuals across the globe. It comes as an example of what kind of a toll the economy is having on some of the unemployed workers who, sadly, are resorting to violence, feeling that there is no other options.
Even though the world is suffering in a major economical way, it is sad that there has been such a rise in violence among families who feel that it is their only option out.
I just can't believe it every time I hear a story reported like this because I can't imagine being so distraught and overwhelmed that I would want to take any of my loved ones' lives.
These times may be hard but it is affecting everyone and there is always help out there for anyone. There are ways out and people should really pull together and lend helping hands to the ones most affected so that we will not have to hear about these devastating stories anymore.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Presidential Campaigns

I'll be honest. I hate hearing about the presidential campaigns and everything that goes with it. One thing that drives me crazy is the commercials. I think it is awful how they try to bash each other into the ground to make themselves look better. They dig up things from peoples' past and then exploit it all over television. I don't see how it makes them look better to put their opponents down like that. It's just a sick way to try and get to the top.
Along with the commercials, I also hate how the media constantly talks about it over and over again. I honestly don't keep up on the presidential campaign. And probably because of these reasons. By the time the election date rolls around, I'm so sick of hearing about it that I just want it to be over with.
The talk shows like the O'Reily Factor drive me nuts because they tend to be so opinionated and think that their candidate of choice is the only right way to go. This drives me crazy because I don't really care to constantly hear about everyone else's opinions on issues. Maybe once in awhile, but not all the time.
Basically, I already can't wait for it to be over with.