Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Transition from the NCAA to the NFL and NBA

Hey, all you seniors in high school that are playing sports like basketball and football. Have you ever dreamed of playing in the NBA or NFL? You plan on going to college right? Well while you think about it, listen up! You have heard about the NCAA tournament right? Well, most seniors in college now will get a huge shocker after this recent lockout speculation. The NFL lockdown has also had a huge impact on the many people in the United states. This effects teens personally now because most people watch and enjoy football. If this continues and goes on like NFL.com says, the United States and many football fans are going to be very anger and disappointed. We are going to lose one of the most POPULAR sports in America. Imagine how people will feel about this and the way they will take it. Me personally, I disagree with this totally and completely. Most college students dream of becoming a football player. Now it can't happen because of the NFL lockdown. Players would like more money and a better career. Most NFL players have put all their time and effort into this sport, and it has to end like this I know they are agitated.

-- Anthony Darby,17 and Jerriel Xavier, 17
Guest Bloggers from the Urban Media Foundation

Monday, March 28, 2011

Preparing for a Natural Disaster

On March 11, 2011 a huge 9.0 earthquake struck Japan leaving them hopeless with no shelter nor warning. It lasted 33 minutes which triggered a tsunami because the earthquake occurred beneath the ocean. 8,649 people were confirmed dead and more than 21,911 people were missing because they were unprepared. Here are some tips to help prepare for a natural disaster.
Top Ten Tips

  • Personal documents

  • Lots of water

  • Radio/batteries

  • Flashlights

  • Emergency kit

  • Food and snacks (nonperishable)

  • Blankets

  • Emergency drill routine

  • Emergency money

  • Toiletries (hygiene items)

Special Guest writers from the Urban Media Foundation -- Lafaye Mooer, 16; Zzzahkia Burnley, 14; Aaron King, 18

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Wait is Over

It's been 2 long years in the making and we are finally proud to announce the launch of Brownstone Magazine on April 11, 2011. If you enjoy the blog, then you'll love the magazine! We're bringing you more original content, real interviews, new videos, and so much more! Stay tuned...the wait is over!

-- Tymika Morrison
Brownstone Team

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Lesson In Luck

What is luck? Are some people truly lucky or do they seem to always benefit from being in the right place at the right time? Today is St. Patrick’s Day and with all that talk about the “luck of the Irish,” it’s worth considering. Is it luck or something else that brings people their good fortune?

Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. Have you ever heard that phrase? It goes back to well before our time (5 A.D.) and was originally spoken by the Roman philosopher Seneca, but it is a phrase that still rings true today. Think about the “luck” you or some of your friends have experienced. Was it luck that got your friends free tickets to a concert, or was it a combination of their being present (preparation) when the tickets were being given away (opportunity)? If they hadn’t shown up to win the tickets, they would have had no chance of winning them, if you get my point.

But all that talk of luck aside, let’s look more closely at its components: preparation and opportunity. If you aren’t prepared, you will miss out on numerous opportunities. Think about it. Scholarships, college acceptance, job opportunities and the like are not things students get because they’re lucky. They are a result of hard work and dedication (preparation) and availability in the program or area they applied for (opportunity). While some people may consider themselves or others lucky, if they looked closely, they might find there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes. Perhaps luck is simply the evidence of things unseen. Most people are humble and don’t want everyone to know how hard they’ve worked or what they’ve sacrificed to get where they are, so it appears that they “lucked up” when in fact they’ve been at it for years. Think about where you want to go in life and the best route to get you there. Chances are it will take skill, sacrifice and determination. In reaching your goals, which would you rather be, lucky or hardworking? The choice is yours.

-- Brandi Nichols
Brownstone Team

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Professional Portfolios: Start Your Academic Footprint Now

During my junior year, I embarked on a rather enriching journey. I was told to create an academic portfolio. This sounded like a daunting task. I was heavily involved in school and I didn’t know if I could write about it all. As I began to work on it, I realized it would be a great opportunity to show people all the hard work I did in high school.

There were four major areas to the portfolio: autobiography, resume, outline of your extracurricular activities, and a list of certificates and awards. First, I took on the autobiography. I talked about everything from the types of classes I was taking to future aspirations. I even talked about my hobbies and interest. After that, I created my resume. Making the resume was like creating a shorter version of my autobiography. I provided dates of how long I was a member of certain clubs.
Then came the fun part: writing a statement on how my extracurricular activities helped me develop into a better person. This is the main part of the portfolio. I had to elaborate on why I joined them and the benefits that I received from joining them. Yet another opportunity to unleash my creative side! I was required to add photos to this part as well. Luckily, I had just received a digital camera as a gift, so I took a lot pictures when I was doing activities with my student groups. I would journal about my sentiments towards my groups and highlighted my more profound experiences. I made photo copies of the certificates that I got from being on honor roll and put them in my portfolio. Another important document that I put in was an unofficial copy of my transcripts. Lastly, I created my cover page with a famous quote that I liked and a photo of myself. After much hard work and diligence, I had created my academic portfolio!

Making the portfolio was one of the most productive projects I created in high school. My portfolio was impressive enough to get me a few scholarships for college. Having a completed resume also comes in handy now that I am applying for jobs. I don’t have to start a resume from scratch. Working on my portfolio also made me more fluent in Microsoft Publisher. At my school, every senior had to turn in a portfolio in order to graduate. My portfolio came in handy around that time. Having a portfolio is like having an academic scrapbook. It’s truly a great way to show yourself off.

-- Amanda Scurlock
Brownstone Intern

Friday, March 4, 2011

Their Eyes Were Watching God: Book vs Movie

Books and films are two amazing art forms. When one tries to become another, many important aspect of the plot can be lost in translation. I watched Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God two years before I read the novel in my AP English class. I was in the 9th grade when the Oprah TV special premiered. My mom had read this book prior and had many critiques. It wasn’t until I read Their Eyes that I understood why the film art form crippled the amazing symbolism of the story and even took out many parts of chapters.

I appreciate this book for being a great literary work. There was no better feeling than being given the opportunity to read a book by a Black author in a 12th grade class. What amazed me about the novel is how the book was written. Hurston writes the narration and the dialogue in two contrasting ways. The book is rich with symbolism and metaphors; comparing love to plants and nature. There is an immense amount of descriptive language in the novel; this made the book come to life to me. Their Eyes Were Watching God is a brilliant coming of age tale about the main character Janie who learns about love and life through two husbands and a lover.

The transformation from novel to movie can have advances as well as setbacks. The movie gives an overlaying backdrop; one can see the emotions on the characters faces when they speak and the audience is not forced to imagine what the characters and the setting look like. The movie is good at giving the audience a good gist of the plot. One of the setbacks of a film is the time frame. Almost every time I watch the special features of a movie, the directors express the challenge of keeping a movie under two hours long. This causes directors to cut scenes even if the movie didn’t even start off as a novel. Just imagine what becomes of novels that go into movies.

Their Eyes Were Watching God is a beautifully written novel. The movie is an equally beautiful way to understand the themes of the novel. Although the movie was well made, it’s nothing like experiencing the story from page to page, getting a more in-depth look at the different stages of Janie’s life. Watching maybe more entertaining and time efficient, but building a personal interpretation to the story can be a more enriching experience.

A lesson that I got from Their Eyes Were Watching God is how important it is to be yourself. For the majority of her youth and early adulthood, Janie was coerced into being someone she wasn’t by outside forces. As the story shows us, it can be hard to break free from those types of forces. So many people hide positive talents and characteristics about themselves because the people around them frown upon those aspects. The story encourages the reader to be bold and do positive things even if some people around us don’t agree with your choices. Money and social status was of no interest to Janie. All she cared about was having strong connections with people. Sometimes striving for material items can cause us to treat our loved ones like items the same way that Janie’s second husband treats her. Even though I’m striving to graduate, I take the time out to meet new people; I’ve realized who I know can be just as important as what I know.

-- Amanda Scurlock
Brownstone Intern