Wednesday, November 8, 2017

It's Cheap To Cheat

After reading Chew on This, a nonfiction book, I decided it was time to dive into a "fun book". I dwelled into my favorite book genre of sports, and decided to pick up the book, Last Shot by John Feinstein. I found this book in my high school library, and by the footnote of the title, "A Final Four Mystery", I knew I was in for a good read. I spent about 20 minutes everyday reading this book in my AP English III class, and about 20 minutes at home as well, this combined to be about 25 pages a day. This 251 page book would take me about 2 weeks to completely finish. Last Shot had me leaning on the edge of my seat when reading it, as it's plot twisted and turned throughout the book. Never before did I realize how crazy sport scandals can really become. Last Shot freshened me up on the results of cheating, and why you should never do it.

As I have progressed through high school, I have found that cheating the system will never workout in your favor, and their will always be repercussions for your actions. Last Shot is just another prime example of this idea. Susan Carol Anderson and Stevie Thomas (the two main characters in the book), were invited to cover the Final Four as journalists after winning an writing contest. As these two journalists interview, write, and think of bright stories, they end up uncovering a conspiracy for one of the final four teams star player to fix the championship game. Susan Carol and Stevie soon found out that there are outside forces that are making an final four star player to fix a game. Throughout the book it becomes an on going goose chase on who, and why they want to fix the game. By the end of the book, the conspirators get caught, showing that cheaters never get their way. "Hey, Chip, the world's a cold place sometimes. Cooperate and you'll be a millionaire in a couple of months.(Feinstein 55)", when I read this statement I finally realized what the whole purpose of fixing the game was. I also realized that people will cheat at literally almost anything to make money or do something for a greater cause for themselves, even if it means losing the most prestigious college basketball game. Hearing about "fixing games" growing up, I've never been able to comprehend peoples motives of doing it. I've always thought it must be money related, but in Last Shot money wasn't the only factor. Really thinking about, "match fixing" is simply just a simple way of cheating. Even though there are different levels of cheating, at all levels their are repercussions for your actions. Even if you get away with cheating there is always something to be lost which could be, valuable knowledge from school, trophies, and even friends. After finally catching the scandalous conspirators in the book, they were punished with repercussions, refreshing me of why cheating is bad. If we are truly honest with ourselves, there is something we cheat at every single day, whether making an illegal shortcut through a shopping center to make it home faster, or whether it's not running that extra five yards the coach tells you to run during suicides. Even though there are not punishments on the spot, these actions will always hurt you in some way. In, Last Shot the conspirators didn't think at first they were gonna get caught up, but little did they know they would end up too in the long run. Last Shot has just made me more aware of cheating, and has made me re-think many situations that I could have cheated in.

Connecting this book to the real world is quite easy, since there are so many sport scandals that have occurred throughout sports. A very well known sports scandal that almost everyone knows about is "Deflate-Gate". This scandal occurred in January of 2015 during the NFL playoffs, a playoff game between the Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots. Rumor has it that during the halftime of this game, Tom Brady (Patriots Quarterback) had the managers deflate balls to give him an unfair advantage when throwing passes, due to the cold Boston weather. Although the Patriots would go on to beat the Colts, this scandal would end up to become national news, most similarly to the same way the final four incident did in Last Shot. As I stated in the last paragraph, cheaters always get caught in some way including Tom Brady. Brady would end up to be punished, the punishments which are stated in this article, were very severe. Many Colts fans were mad they were still handed a loss in the playoffs due to unfair play. Luckily, in Last Shot this was not the case as the plan to "match fix" the game would end up to not work. "Doctor Koheen, you are under arrest for attempted blackmail, for tampering with state records, and for conspiracy to kidnap two minors. (Feinstein 241)," similar to Tom Brady, cheating would end up to get the conspirators caught in the book as shown in the last quote, and cause them repercussions in the same way the article explained. Although I'm sure their are sport scandals that have not been busted yet, they will always have to live in the fear of knowing their is that chance of getting caught, which is a loss in it's self. Citizens think cheating is just the way to go in todays world, but little do they know their is always a loss in cheating.

Overall, I think Last Shot was a tremendous book that I would recommend to all sport enthusiasts.
I uncovered a lot of information in this book refreshing me on the basis of cheating, and why to never do it. One day, I hope that sports and all life events will be fair, but unfortunately this will most likely will never happen due to corrupt sport franchises and people in our world.

“'Deflategate:' 4-Game Suspension for Tom Brady.” CNN, Cable News Network,  1 Mar. 2017.                     

Feinstein, John. Last Shot: Mystery at the Final Four. New York, Yearling Book, 2006.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Chew On These Facts

In the past, I never stopped and thought about how my food was made, or even how nutrious my food was (well, to an extent) until reading this book. Chew on This, a nonfiction book I decided to pick up off my parents bookshelf at the 5th week of school this year. This 318 page book took me around a week and a half to finish, although only reading to page 265 due to notes and sources at the end of the book. Averaging about 25 pages a day, I never ate fast food while reading this book due to a loss of my appetite. After reading the first few chapters, I had already learned about the history of many famous fast food chains, how these chains boosted a new family lifestyle, and the invention of the fast food chain. These interesting and endless facts caused me to continue to read this book nonstop, until I was forced to stop each day.

Fast food chains really don't care how they earn money just as long as their earning it, even if it effects their customers. Many slaughterhouses described in the book use as most people would say "gross" and "nasty" techniques to slaughter animals. These animals (chickens and cows) often have many diseases instilled in them that cause many Americans to get food poisoning or diseases such as E. coli "The construction of huge feedlots, slaughterhouses, and hamburger grinders has made it easier for E. coli and other nasty germs to spread through the nation's food supply(Schlosser/Wilson194)." This statement showed me how severe these slaughterhouses are. New and more efficient ways of producing meat, have caused diseases to come a quality to beef and chicken shipped to fast food chains around the US. After reading this section of the book I firmly thought, Should our health really be put into danger just so fast food chains can make a profit faster? Another unhealthy thing about fast food is that is has caused many Americans to become obeise and "fat". Many fast food meals are low in fiber, nutrients, and high in salt, which are all bad for our bodies. Obesity has been linked to cause many Americans health problems such as heart disease, colon cancer, breast cancer, asthma, high blood pressure, and strokes. None of these are good which I hope everyone reading this knows! Although fast food seems like the cheapest and most efficient way to buy food these days, it also comes with a greater cost. Many fast food users are becoming so obeise that they must have Gastric-Bypass surgery, which can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000. So is it really worth it to take the cheap and easy way out? Many fast food chains are trying to add healthier items to there menus that could solve this problem. " The most successful new item on the Burger King menu isn't the Veggie Burger. It's the Enormous Omelet breakfast sandwich, which contains more calories (740) and more grans of fat (46) than a Whopper (Schlosser/Wilson244)." This shows that these healthy items, really might not be healthy after all. So should Americans just stop eating fast food overall? This is question many of us should ask ourselves.

Connecting this book to the real world is quite easy, since so many of us Americans are fast food consumers. This last summer, I had an incident of food poisoning at one of the famous fast food restaurants mentioned in this book, Taco Bell. I had awful symptoms, that I'd much rather not mention, that caused me to be in bed for three days. I then decided to limit my fast food consumption, due to Chew on This, and my food poisoning incident. I found by searching on the internet, I wasn't wrong about my decision. Many articles online have long lists of how fast food restaurants are often serving food that is unsanitary and uncooked, which leads to food poisoning. The article I found, "Food Processing and Handling: Done by American Stuides Class of 2013", shows many aspects of Food Processing and Handling. An interesting statement I found in the article, "However, instead of dealing with overcrowding of cows, poor sanitation in the meat packing plants, underpaid and poorly skilled labor, excessive line speeds, poor government oversight, the meat industry wants to employ irradiation to control a preventable problem. (2)" This statement shows the same point as me, showing that many workers are providing customers with poor products that can cause them to get food poisoning. As mentioned in the last paragraph Chew on This uncovers many diseases that are linked through fast food that can cause food poisoning. "Every day in the United States, roughly 200,000 people are sickened by something they ate, 900 are hospitalized, and 14 die (Schlosser/Wilson193)." This statement made by Schlosser, shows the vast effect on this problem. I also can connect in another way, as I actually work in the Food and Beverage industry. I am a Hostess and Servers Assistant at California Pizza Kitchen and help run out dishes, fill and re-fill drinks, and seat people to their tables.  I make sure to oversee all food is up to it's standards and make sure it isn't "fast food" quality. Meeting this standard is very tough, but is very important. Many fast food chains just aren't doing the same, which is why many of us need to cut down our fast food consumption.

Overall, I think Chew on This was a great read! I would recommend this to anyone who really wants to know the secrets of fast food. I uncovered a lot of information in this book that has changed my view on fast food in an unfortunately negative way. One day I hope these facts will be false, and that I can once again enjoy fast food.


American Studies Class of 2013. “Food Processing and Handling.” The Truth about the Food Industry,

Schlosser, Eric, and Charles Wilson. Chew on This. Boston, Houghton Mifflin Co., 2006

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Look me in the disorder

This first set of three weeks I have challenged myself more then ever before. I decided to increase the amount of content I read and further my book variety. I average aproximatly 15 pages a day so far but as always I hope to continue building up my pages per day. The book Look me in the eye so far has been an extremely well written book that I have greatly enjoyed reading. This endearing book follows the life of an aspergian child throughout his life. Although John Elder, the main character, is extremely smart and fasinating he grows up with many difficulties occurring in his life. "I always seemed right except when it came to school. I was failing almost every class which cause more abuse when I arrived home." (Page 31) This quote stuck out to me for many reasons. To start off, John is an exceptional kid, almost a child prodigy but he does terrible in school. This is because he is only good at things he finds an interest in. Although Johns life at home is horrible he deals with it well. His parents are both crazy and somehow John turned out have a very successful career. "For many years people doubted me and my Aspergers but look where I'm at now" (Page 146) In this passage John talks about how his issues in his early life no longer effect him today. He has become a whole different person and loves himself along with his syndrome. Many people doubt people with mental illnesses and look down upon them. Many feel if you are not "normal" you are less then. This is a major issue our society is facing today. One example shown of this is Demi Lavado, this multiple time Teen choice award winner suffers from bi-polar illness. She has been bullied and judged for her disorder but she is one of the most successful singer/songwriters nationwide. Here is an interview of her opening up about her illness.

Citations - 
extratv. “Demi Lovato Opens Up About Her Bipolar Diagnosis.” YouTube, YouTube, 30 Nov. 2016,

Robison, John Elder. Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's. Ebury, 2009.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

13 Reasons for life time of loss

As the year is closing to an end, I'm continuing my journey through the book "13 reasons why" by Jay Asher. The band wagon TV series is what got me to start reading the book, but now the pages speak for themselves. I really enjoy this mystery book although I wish I had read it before finishing the Netflix series to spoil the ending. One specific quote that stuck out to me was “no one knows for certain how much impact they have on the lives of other people.” (pg, 156) because it shows how people make a difference to others daily without even noticing it. No matter what you might think, you are important and who you are as a person effects many people in your life even if it goes unseen. The book 13 reasons why is about a teenager named Hannah Baker who commits suicide but leaves 13 recorded tapes to explain why she killed herself . Clay Jenson a classmate along with others go through each tape waiting to hear what they did to deserve a spot on one of the tapes. Throughout the book many secrets come out and lies are told crating a very mystery and romantic feel. Overall I'm enjoying reading this book and hope to finish before the school year is up. I'm so glad with my accomplished reading goals throughout this year and this book is definitely at the top of my favorites.

Image result for 13 reasons why tv show

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Abandoning what you don't love

In this current set of 9 weeks I have already finished around 200 pages of The Memory Keepers Daughter by Kim Edwards. This particular novel is a fiction book, but the author illustrates an extremely true and real setting. Although I have no experience with Kim Edwards books, I have enjoyed this mystery/life altering story immensely. In the beginning, a newly wed couple prepares to have a baby, the key word in the previous sentence is "a", meaning singular. When unexpected events turn they end up having twins and the second child is born with down syndrome. Dr. Henry then lies to his wife telling her their daughter died and sends their kid with a nurse to be sent to a special needs facility. "Phoebe, his sister, a secret kept for a quarter or a century"(pg, 400). This quote shows how long all of the bundled up lies lasted all because of one parent unable to cope with a disabled kid. I disagree with how Dr. Henry dealed with his situation  This book while frustrating because of the confusion taking place between a love triangle, is a eye opener for many people. I can relate to this book in terms of people lying to me but not to these standards. Overall I would really recommend picking up this AP title for anyone looking for a book that's impossible to set down.

Friday, April 7, 2017

The Reading Life I Hope to Have

The Reading Life I Hope to Have
Last night just before I went to bed I reached to grab something. I didn't reach for my phone, or my laptop, I didn't even reach for my TV remote, instead I leaned over and grabbed onto a thick and brand new hard cover book. I opened up the pages and the complex diction flowed into my brain without even thinking about it. The next day when I became bored, I did in fact pull out my phone, but not to scroll through the most recent twitter feed or check how many Instagram likes I have received, alternatively I opened the "Ibooks' application and again I began reading so simply. This in fact is not what I do today, but what I hope to do in the future. My reading goals for this year are going to be the most challenging reading goals I have set yet. I hope to read over 2000 pages in the span of 9 weeks. Last 9 weeks I consumed over 1,200 pages worth of knowledge that I received from books. This was from a vastly large variety of novels ranging from long classical literature to short non fiction books. Although in the past I have not been the type of person to pick up a book over playing outside, my goal the rest of the year is to get better and read at least 15 minutes every single day.