Thursday, May 1, 2014

Senior Movie Review

Ben Mizzacillin

Fifty shades of Ben (2014)

Cast: Ben MacMillan, Darnel Strother, Spencer Drake, Kyle Newell, Niko Difazio, Joe Nixon, Chandler Birmingham, Chanler Harrison, Cameron Buthlay, Adam Brobst, and a bunch of fly honeys

Review: if your in the mood for a boring documentary with one one exciting part that wasn't worth the wait, this is the movie for you. Ben MacMillan stars as the main character followed by his goons who traverse through the perils of senior year of high school.
The pros of this documentary are a wonderful soundtrack, including rap, rap, oh and more rap. Along with frequent swearing and bullying, this twisting plot will throw you for a loop as you try to figure out why you are even watching this. There is a colorful cast with cameos from Cam Buthlay as that bully who everyone secretly hates, and Joe Nixon that lovable kid who everyone pities because he is diffrent.
The most exciting scenes are after the drawn out school day where the lovable main character Ben hangs with his sidekick Darnel the friendly and cluelessly happy gangster, this is the most exciting part of the movie because they roll around town and do nothing for hours on end.
This movie will have a sequel next year called "Where did we get the money to do this?" and will include half of the original cast, along with a new setting
This documentary is rated R for Cam.

Final Writing Assignment #2

What was the assignment?
This assignment was the first feature article of the second semester, we had to choose a relevant topic to our lives and write about it.
Why did you choose this piece over the others we have done?
This was one of the longer and more developed pieces that I've had and it shows the writing skill I had at the beginning of this class.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the piece?
The strength of this piece for me is the strong voices that I included from many diffrent sources, the weakness is probably the boring flow and structure of the piece.

Ben Mac
Senior skip day

Kyle Newell a senior at Freeport highschool is a man on a mission, and that mission to get the most out of life. A lost tradition that could help Kyle on this mission is the legendary Senior Skip Day, although recently losing its prominence throughout the US, Kyle and the rest of the student body at Freeport high school hope to be setters of a new trend here at Freeport. It is important that the student body chooses whether to participate or not since the window of opportunity is closing quickly.
            Fear is one of the main reasons that most schools don't have a senior skip day, even Kyle from Freeport said "The school will probably handle it poorly by giving out mass detentions and taking away some of our senior privileges." Unless you are a parent, senior or teacher I doubt any of these events will affect you but for the students this is a big deal. Kyle believes that "it's a right of passage." "Just kids exercising their freedoms." In this new day and age it's sad to see that school officials take so much pride in being controlling and authoritative to innocent fun loving kids. One day less of school to hangout with your friends or go to the beach doesn't warrant detentions, it's a way to show enthusiasm about moving forward with your life, going on to bigger and better things.
Parents and teachers have different opinions though. I recently spoke Mr. Mellon a teacher at Freeport high school, he commented on senior skip day by saying "it's a waste of time because your in school to be a scholar not a slacker." Parents had similar comment Tracy MacMillan said that "school is a time to learn, you have plenty days off in the summer."
          If this event does occur I hope everyone can act appropriately about it. It would be a shame to see punishments that get out of hand or students being too disrespectful to administrators. I hope in the end we can all come to a conclusion which will be fun a benefit both sides.

Final Writing Assignment #1

What was the assignment?
This assignment was the first editorial of journalism class. It was especially important because we submitted it to the New York Times.
Why did you choose this piece over the others we have done?
I choose this piece because it was the most I have ever tried on a solidary piece, and it is well written.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the piece?
The strengths of the piece are good vocabulary and research, the weakness is that I need to state my opinion earlier since it's an editorial.

Should Cannabis be Legal?
                                                             By BEN MACMILLAN

  In recent years a new hot button issue has risen through the ranks and is now becoming a very prominent discussion topic. Not only in America, but across the globe, policymakers and government officials are mulling over the aspects of legalizing cannabis. Should cannabis be legal for medical patients? How about legalized for recreational use? Can it boost the economy? Many different opinions and facts are being brought up on this argument, and I hope to clear up some misconceptions commonly thrown into the discussions and prove that cannabis should be legal, even if only for medicinal reasons.
          Recently I was reading an article by Michael Gonchar from the New York Times about the discussion on legalizing marijuana; the interesting part I found myself intrigued in was the comment section of the article. There were many misconceptions I spotted. It seemed that there was a lot of confusion about how marijuana whether medical or recreational would affect the economy. I would first like to start off by saying; yes marijuana is being taxed by the state governments who have legalized it for medicinal and recreational purposes. In a statement released from the Colorado Department of Revenue, it says that marijuana is being taxed at a rate of 25%, this is sales tax and state taxes combined. In another article released by the CDR Colorado alone raked in two million dollars in sales tax, on recreational marijuana alone.
Another misconception is that marijuana is bad for you, I will not try and argue that there are no bad effects that come from smoking it, but do remember it is less harmful then cigarettes and alcohol of which both are legal. "You can die binge-drinking five minutes after you've been exposed to alcohol. That isn't going to happen with marijuana," said Ruben Baler, a health scientist at the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
If slowly killing your liver by consuming alcohol or giving yourself lung cancer is legal, why can’t smoking a joint to ease the stress of a long day, or even smoking a bowl to help an insomniac sleep be legal. On the contrary of friends I discuss this topic with, I do accept the fact that cannabis can and may only be legalized on the medical scale, and I believe that is a righteous and good hearted path for the substance. If we can prove that it can save people pain and hassle in their lives, and that it can really be a helpful tactic finding ways to ease people lives: why not.
In the end I am hoping that the facts are brought into consideration more than people’s opinions. If the companies or government can find a way to test the effects of marijuana we can see if it would be worth legalizing, but the problem is with all the anti-cannabis protesters spreading falsities and their own personal opinion instead of facts which confuse the majority of the population. Open your own eyes and see or experience for yourself instead of taking all your facts from a secondary source that may have political or personal obligations and objections against a certain topic.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Movie Review

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs? Nah, more like sunny with a chance of laughter, this movie was cute and entertaining, with comedic pain and adorable animals. The two main characters, a baby producing cloud, and his trusty stork that delivers them begin having relationship problems when the interacting a become to dangerous for the stork. Although it ins swiftly resolved after a bit of minor crying and they become friends once more and continue on there work. I believe the film was a contemporary piece on the new age problem of having to explain birth to kids,this comedic look at the alternative solution to telling kids about the birds and bees. The rest of this is going to be gibberish so that it looks like I'm an adequate writer that can fill three quarters of a page discussing a four minute movie. I do not enjoy watching basketball unless it is a alley oop or dunk competition, I do on the other hand enjoy ballin out or so it is referred to by the hooligans of today. I believe 9/11 was an inside job and that Osama bin laden was working for the US government and that is why they haven't released proof of his death. Ron Paul for president, the N word.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

College crossroads

— What is your reaction to Mr. Bruni’s idea that where you go to college matters less than “the effort you put into your studies, the earnestness with which you hone your skills, what you actually learn”?
I believe that Mr. Bruni's idea has a very strong amount of relevance and that it is something I believe in as well. The fact of the matter though, is that if a smart young person graduates from USM with a bachelors in accounting and applies for the same job that a another smart young person from Harvard applied too with the same credentials, that the Harvard graduate will more likely be granted the job because of the social stigma surrounding top colleges.

— If you’re a student who is finished with the college process, what advice would you give high school juniors?
Make sure you have good grades, do lots of college visits to get the ideal feel of the schools you want to go to, fill out scholarships and college applications early. Also stay out of the police beat if you're a hooligan, bump ins with the law and School officials can hamper your college career.

— In the end, how much do you think it matters where you go to college? Why?
Unfortunately I believe it matters a lot where you go to college, not just how hard you work, and are dedicated to the subject. This isn't always a bad thing because to gain access into the top schools you do have to be intelligent and hard working.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Opening Moment 4/1/14

Recently family members of passengers have been lawyering up due to the discrepency of June airlines. Also a ship with high tech search gear is being released to the ocean but with no idea where to search for flight 370.

SAT on the Job

— Do you think SAT scores could be a good indicator of future career success? Why or why not?
I believe so, because growing up with the people in this high school and getting to know them has shown me that there are some very intelligent hard working kids, and those kids got higher SAT scores than the rest of the students. If I was a future employer I would like to choose those kids with higher SAT scores because I would know that they are intelligent and hard working.

— Should there be an expiration date on the scores’ being considered as part of
a prospective employee’s application? If so, what should it be?
Yes, there should be an expiration date in when SAT scores are a valid indicator of a persons knowledge and work ethic. I have met some smart hardworking people and I believe that they are great at there job but if you gave them an SAT in this day and age they wouldn't remember how to do half of the questions because they have replaced that knowledge with information more prominent to there environment and work.

— What if a job applicant did not take the SAT? Do you think some employers would penalize that person? How should this situation best be handled, in your opinion?
If a job applicant didn't take the SAT then employers should see if they did AP exams or the ACT, if they didn't do either if these then a highschool and college transcript. I do believe it would hamper the applicants chance of getting the job.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Climate change

— What do you think schools could be doing?
Schools could have recycling movements and push to be more environmentally friendly, buses could run off natural gas, and the school could by organic. They could also teach students about climate change in a more In depth way.
— How much have you learned about climate change in school? What do you believe about it?
We've learned a little bit about climate change in school, how it is affecting the ozone and that it's because the atmosphere is not releasing greenhouse gases so suns rays and energy get trapped in earth, causing higher temperatures which greatly affect the environment.
— How much does the topic concern you in general? Why?
It bothers me that corporations and people don't care about earth as much as they should, but knowing that the earth won't burn up and be ruined until long after my time makes the issue seem smaller, this generation needs to be shown proof that global warming affects us greatly so we feel a greater need to fight back against it.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Adam Brobst is not pledging to a fraternity

Do you want to join a fraternity or sorority? Why or why not?

The only reason I can picture joining a fraternity would be to get to live in a sweet mansion, other then that I don't see and positive benefits that would help with my college life.

What do you think fraternities could do to police themselves? Is what Sigma Alpha Epsilon doing enough?

The best way to police a wild group like a fraternity is to have a strong leadership system which is respected, so when punishments are handed out, they are taken seriously.

What do you think would be lost if there were no fraternities on college campuses? What might be gained? Would banning fraternities substantially lessen problems like sexual violence and alcohol-fueled injuries and deaths on college campuses or not?

I believe the only thing lost if fraternities were banned from college would be their parties, other then that I don't see the point of a fraternity unless you're Ryan Camp and have to tell everyone about it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Thumbnail Editorials

Weather in Maine
If you are looking for a place to lounge outside and enjoy a nice breeze, this is surely not the place. Plagued with below freezing temperatures and snow, this northern state is a primo destination for skiers and wackjobs.

Bumper Stickers
Are they taken too far sometimes? I love seeing a funny bumper sticker and having a smile flash across my face from a good joke for example "How's my driving? 1-800-Eat-S@?t". Although sometimes people take it too far, by posting heavy opinions certain hot button issues,  from abortion to religious views, and that takes the fun out of the number stickers.

Reality TV
Who doesn't love reality TV? Or would the better question be, who even watches that stuff? Scripted "drama" and some of the trashiest people you have ever seen thrown into a joke of a show and aired non stop on TLC and other bad channels. Does anyone really want to watch snookie sleep with four guys a night and then fight with all of them after? I hope not.

A social media sight gone sideways. Back in the day facebook used to be about getting and staying in contact with friends, now it's used for teen drama and thirty eight or older parents who think its "hip". In between the 13 year old idiots talking about how much swag they have from drinking and smoking every night to the creepy 50 year old dudes stalking single mothers there's only a small sliver of people using face book for the right reasons.

A necessary evil at times, lying can destroy your perception of people or make them seem like a hero. Back when I was a kid I thought lying was the worst thing you could possibly do, but now I realize it's one of June kindest things you can do. Saving someone from what they don't want to hear by lying to make them feel can be very helpful, but you must remember sometimes telling your friend or family the truth is better then covering with a lie. Just remember in a pinch lying can save your skin.

School lunch
There's never enough, and it all sucks. Multiple times there has been moldy food, or undercooked meat served. Also taking away our desserts and replacing it with mushy apples, what type of prison are these clowns running.

Senior privileges
Shouldn't be called privileges at all, it is a right of being 18 and turning into an adult. Just cause we have some loud mouthed authoritarian telling us about how we have to follow the rules or we are stupid immature pieces of scum doesn't mean it's a privilege to leave the school when we can do that under our power. Take your little rule book and shove it.

Gun control
Guns don't kill people, people kill people. Let competent people have their guns, let the sociopaths and psychos try to get guns some other way.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014


How much control do you think you have over your fate?

I would like to believe that I can accomplish anything, that I control my own destiny wholeheartedly, that in some way the fate of my life is in my hands. While thinking this though, a small part of my conscious banters to itself, what if something else is controlling your fate? What if your life has already been planned out and you just have to follow the cue cards of life? So therefore I am uncertain if I have full control of my life, or none at all.

Do you feel your fate is already predetermined by your lineage — your parents and ancestors? Or do you feel you are in the driver’s seat in determining your own success?

I believe that my families lineage plays a role in my fate, the fact that both my grandparents were and are well off allowed my parents to have better portions of life, for example a good place to live and a college education. Therefore since my parents were able to afford a education I believe it set them up for a better life, which in turn may perhaps set me up with the necessities to follow in their footsteps and have a successful life too.

Do you think you will be better or worse off than your parents? In what ways? Why?

I believe I will be worse off then my parents for a time, because of the fact of how much the world has changed in the job market since then. My dad and mom grew up with competitive attitudes which in turn made them ambitious people, while I on the other hand feel no pressure to figure out what I want to do on life which will surely be a problem later on.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Creativity Classes

What problems on these students’ lists also annoy you?
I may not be an attendant at buffalo university and may have never been too the student union but the solution is something I find an interest in, in Freeport there Is no place for the youth to go and hang out so if a 24 hour chill-zone was introduced it could solve that problem.
What problems at your school or in your home or neighborhood can you identify?
The hallways are too crowded in school and there's too much bumping and shoving. The senior door had the handles removed so we couldn't open it ourselves.
How could you solve at least one of them?
Classes in Freeport could have different departure times, maybe the first bell is for seniors and then the second can be for junior and sophomores then the last is for the freshman.
Do you wish you could take a class in creative studies? Why or why not? 
Yes I do wish I could take a class in creative studies, because I feel it would be interesting and I would have fun also regular school has drained my creativity.

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Art of the Interview

Sawatzki's rules of interviewing are don't ask yes or no questions because you might only get those as the answer, also keep the questions short to get the interviewee to talk more, and don't ask questions with charged words because they could turn the interviewee off and not want to participate. When interviewing you do not want to ramble and have a batter of words, you want to keep it short. Some challenges I have had personally with interviews is finding someone to interview and then asking them the right questions to get good information that I can quote in a paper. I can follow Sawatzki's rules of interviewing and also pick my sources more carefully.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Rap Battle for the Ages

Recently at the Grammy awards Macklemore a prominent white hip hop/pop artist beat out Kendrick Lamar, Jay-z and other black rap artists for best rap album of the year. This sparked some controversy in whether whites can become equal in the rap game or is it tied in too tightly with black culture.

Should Macklemore be apologizing? Is his apology sincere? Is it appropriate?

I believe Macklemore should be apologizing to Kendrick and just Kendrick because he should have clearly won the Grammy. I do believe the apology was sincere though except for when Macklemore posted it on Instagram that where it became in appropriate.

Can rap music ever transcend race and class? Or is it too indelibly tied to black urban culture?

I believe that rap music can't rise above race and class although white artist can create a new sound like some have before Eminem and Mac Miller are examples of two prominent white artists but they should fall under the Hip hop category and not into rap. I believe Macklemore should be in the hip hop or pop category as well. As for rap transcending race and class I doubt it ever I will because of the meaning behind rap, it was used as a tool in hard times, to fight against racism, poverty, and many other hardships that black Americans had to face. It is fort hat reason that I believe rap will forever be a black music type because of the history they've with it.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Blog Reflection

​The first piece in my portfolio is a personality profile on an engineer. I included this piece on my blog because I feel that it is one of my more completed pieces, the length and writing style is more thought out then some of the other of my assignment. To do this personality profile I had to find an engineer to interview and then set up a time and place. After the interview everything goes a lot quicker, when I had all the information I needed I sat down and began writing the piece. I believed that this piece was strong because of descriptive sentences with good tone an example is “ All in all Chris leads a busy life, but not all of it is focused on his career, he likes to focus on what matters in life, friends, family, and sports.”  A weakness of the piece could be length but also scattered plot, I was all over the place writing the piece because it was my first profile. The second piece I put in my blog was my college essay, I wrote this piece and published it to my blog because it is one piece I tried on, and cared about. The process for writing a college essay is to choose one of the designated options given by colleges and then answer the statement or question they choose for you. The option I chose was to write about a place I feel perfectly content at. It is a very strong essay because of my voice and description of the place that I write about. A weakness is that I couldn’t find a fitting ending to it, so it is left open ended which I hope I can change. In the beginning of the year we had to write a short paragraph on our previous writing history and the goals we hope to accomplish in this class. One of my goal for this class was that I hoped to develop the fluidity of my writing with a nice style, so it wasn’t choppy and dull. I haven’t been able to work on this yet because we haven’t had creative style writing yet, we’ve only had personality profiles and essays on a subject, the only real chance were one or two short stories we did in class. A weakness of writing for me was actually being able to sit-down and crank out decent lengths of writing in a proficient way. I seem to be slowly improving in this category throughout the year, and hopefully turn it into a skill. This first semester of journalism has been interesting and I hope that the next semester will be unique too.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

College Essay

The smell of fresh cut grass, the sight of dirt gently swirling in rays of sun, rap music blasting out the trunk of my car, I am back in the dirt parking lot over looking my football field. With kids giggling on the playground, young boys playing baseball on the diamond in the back, and young men bashing heads on the field, it shows my past all in one serene landscape. Although the season isn't currently over I can still feel the pain of not coming back next year for two a days in the blistering heat of the summer, and practices that go on until itis almost snowing and pitch black out in the winter. This is the place where nothing else matters, it makes me live in the moment, leaving the past behind me and the future ahead of me.

When playing football I can put everything aside, I am completely focused on the here and now. On a football field you live a life time, you go through ups and downs, happiness, sadness, and most importantly the feeling of family. The reason I am perfectly content in this field is because I have known no where else, where I have felt so close to my friends to be able to call them my brothers, it is where we have cried, laughed, bled and fought together. There is no other spot I would rather play or hang out, it is a place I can call home. For the the past eleven years it has been a center in my life, an anchor, I always know that I can go back and reminisce.

Throughout my high school career I have gone through some major changes, I have gotten and lost jobs, I have gained a license and vehicle, relationships with teachers and friends have gone down and up, it has as expected been a crazy high school experience. Though the one thing that stays constant is the field, through out my child hood and high school  have gone to the same field every year for eleven years. It has been a center, having the same great feeling of stepping on to it the first time after a long winter, the feeling of coming back to a familiar place, it is a feeling you will seldom feel, and never replace. I'm glad that I can always conjure up that feeling, or revisit the place which brings back such fond memories.

Personality Profile: Engineer

         Although you can find him driving around in his big Toyota tundra, Chris does care about the environment. An avid recycler and composted, Chris can be seen enjoying nature to its fullest by biking, or boating through Maines serene landscapes. These are just a few of his hobbies while his main love his working. Chris is an environmental engineer who works in Freeport, although he hasn't always worked there. After completing four years in UMO's engineering program, which Chris said was very intense, he was able to get a job working for the state. After working for the state governemnt he got a job with Mechanical Engineers in Portland until 2000. In the year 2000 Chris and an old work friend started their own business called MacMillan & Donelly. Recently Chris and Tim sold their company and joined a group called Power Engineers which is based in freeport. Since Chris once owned his own company I asked him whether be thought running his own company compared to working in a corporate structure, and he replied " there is more paper work and policy, but compared to other companies, the one I work for (power engineers) does a good job at balancing that.".
         After so many years working Chris said that its still interesting because of the people and companies he consults for are unique and all the projects I undertake are always diffrent. His wife said he loves his job because the rewarding feeling of using knowledge to help solve people's problems. When asked if there was any negatives to his job he thought for a long time, and he finally decided the only complaint he has is it i am a project manager so there is more time on the computer in the office and less in the field, which he doesn't consider that a very negative part. When asked what is the main skill your learned from high school that helps you the most on the job, Chris replied with organization and prioritizing. "It's really important that I get the tasks I am assigned done on time, so having good organization and prioritizing skills makes that a lot easier.". College for Chris was a lot of work, but it has payed off. It allows him to do the things he enjoys most in life other then helping people. All in all Chris leads a busy life, but not all of it is focused on his career, he likes to focus on what matters in life, friends, family, and sports.