All posts tagged: Politics

Shark Attack

About six years ago, I began having access to a beach house on the coast of North Carolina for one or two weeks a year. I’ve loved extreme sports for a much longer time than that, so I immediately began considering surfing as a new pastime. Unfortunately, around the same time that I started going to this beach house, I began paying more attention to the news related to the coast. This meant I started hearing news reports about sharks. And, for some reason, these reports gave me an irrational fear of shark attacks. So much so that one year I avoided the water almost altogether. The strange thing about my reaction is that I am aware of the mass communication theories that account for this effect. Exposure to repeated news cycles of shark attacks can impact your view of the likelihood of it happening to you or, at least, its prevalence in general. At university, I studied something similar—the impact of views on violent crime that makes people stay away from downtown and urban …

Español

I feel like learning Spanish is my responsibility that I’m neglecting. Where I live, there is a significant Hispanic population, and I’ve encountered at least a few occasions in which being able to converse would have been beneficial–not so much for communication as hospitality. I took a few semesters of the foreign language in college and high school. I’ve been to Guatemala and Peru, but my grasp of Spanish is still pretty minimal. Of course, some people say the only real way to learn a language is immersion. But I’ve seen someone living in-country using flashcards. We share a hemisphere with South America, and Mexico is one of our closest neighbors. Español should be taught in every elementary school. After five years old, language acquisition can be difficult. I’ve tried apps and websites as well as a CD that I sometimes play on the way to work. I probably need to start using flashcards (digital or physical). However, I believe in limiting how much I take on at once, so my lessons in Español are …