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Page history last edited by shap.luke@yahoo.com 5 years ago

Lucas Shapiro

Mrs. Tenly

Independent Research

25 November 2015


     This past stretch until the Thanksgiving break really put the "Independent" in Independent Research. With Mrs. Tenly wading in and out, whether it be for teaching other classes or attending to other business, it was our job to buckle down and complete our task. It was an open-ended task, which I am starting to prefer now that I am better at making my own game plan. Previously, teachers have merely given a list of instructions to follow or a lesson plan to model and sent us on our merry way, but this class has incorporated the self-guided aspect of college that I crave exposure to. Anything that will immerse me in the type of environment I will encounter in college is extremely helpful practice. The assignment this week was to create a works cited page and continue our research, and I was able to accomplish a sufficient combination of the two. 

     Before I dive into the work I did this week, it is first necessary to examine the work I did not do. On certain days I took advantage of the lack of a teacher and did not do my work. Instead I spent my time talking, to Barret and Jaleh or other students I knew in the library, or doing other pointless work. Although relieving at the time to give myself another free period, it proved to be more harmful than helpful. Since I slacked off on those days, I had to make up for it by working more diligently at home and on the more supervised days during class. Furthermore, I realized it is immature to only work on days where someone is watching, no matter if I get everything done that I need to, because there is always more research to be conducted that could fortify my final project. I plan to stay more true to my personal goal of spreading out my work load and not interfering with others' work. I have a very pesky habit of giving my opinion on questions people did not ask me, and despite my true intention of helping, I seem invasive and annoying. I intend to tone down this behavior so that people do not think I am an over-talkative know-it-all. 

     Pairing the works cited page assignment with expanding our research was beneficial because I remembered to cite every new source I encountered as I went. Barret was intelligent in making a links page throughout the entire process, so his works cited page was far easier to assemble. Many of the articles were difficult to find because I did not remember if I did an advanced search or how exactly I input the search. To overcome this issue, Jaleh gave me the great idea of typing in the title of the article because I already had them all printed out and annotated. This solved all of the confusion and I was able to find every one of my articles. Additionally, since I have already made the chart with brief descriptions for ten of the articles, I already have the ball rolling on the literature review. I foresee this being one of the larger and more important writing pieces for this project, so I really want it to be informative and give a comprehensive description of every article I used. I feel that it is important to include almost all, if not all of the sources I have seen throughout my journey because I find it interesting to see what helped and what did not. Clearly not every article will have a wealth of information on exactly what I want, so writing a small reflection on what made the article helpful and not helpful will truly show what the article had to offer. Many of my sources stray from my focus, but are still stellar auxiliaries for my project and will be duly noted. Additionally, although the EasyBib interface is very helpful, I have not found it useful in citing my sources because they are primarily from the databases. The databases have citations for every article already, so manually inputting the information into EasyBib is counterproductive. This is why my works cited page is solely featured as a wiki and not in EasyBib. I plan to use EasyBib in other ways such as organizing my information in the order I want to share it, but that task my also be facilitated by other online binder-like programs that Mrs. Tenly has introduced to us.

     Earlier in my research, everything was about the brain, but not I am turning it to be about the game. Why do people love football? Why are sports important to the young mind? It is imperative that I have an unbiased representation of this conflict and the only way to do so is to obtain both sides of the story. The Opposing Viewpoints in Context was relatively helpful in this regard because it pointed my towards the sports aspect of the problem. Instead of looking at how sports destroy the brain, I looked at how they build it up. There are significant social and psychological benefits of sports for the young mind that include relationship building, faster thinking, and memory. I found it necessary to understand these advantages because it elucidates why people put their children into organized sports leagues. Additionally, articles also provided the guidelines of a responsible program runner. It was interesting to read about the type of knowledge that commissioners and coaches should have about sports safety, and what they really know. I have noticed in my own sports participation that there has been a recent push for educating children on concussions, and there have even been substantial rule modifications to respect the stark reality that comes along with a MTBI. Furthermore, articles openly address that players are willing to hide injuries to stay in the game, and some primary sources even provide quotes and statistics from players that support this claim. It will be very powerful to feature these stats in my presentation because people will identify with the staggering number of players that do not report injuries, and how their child could be doing the same thing. It is apparent in my research that there are palpable social overtones associated with injury and rough play, and one of the largest obstacles is to overcome the stigma that being hurt makes you weaker. Athletes are ruthless when it comes to injuries and typically look down upon someone who has been injured. From first hand experience, it is extremely difficult to watch everyone else move forward while you can barely even move, and this stress sometimes causes athletes to lie to stay in the loop. Depending on the injury, this could bring about a permanent change just for temporary fulfillment. 

     The next steps in the research process feel as though they are going to come very quickly. Soon all of the work we have done will be put together into several separate writing assignments that will together make up our final project. I am confident in my research currently, but am still not completely sure I would be able to make a presentation on this information with enthusiasm. I love to speak to crowds of people, so I am very excited for this opportunity, but that means it must be spotless. As we synthesize our research, I think I will discover little gaps here and there that I can easily fill, and then I will begin to see how I will convey this information to others. Hopefully I will ultimately collect enough information to put a spotlight on the concussion crisis and influence those who are involved in sports to pay very close attention to their jobs. Although it may seem like fun and games. coaches and commissioners have very important positions in shaping the minds of youth, and it is their choice if it is a positive or negative change. My research will express that there is no room for negativity when it comes to longevity. 



Comments (1)

Suhaila Tenly said

at 1:33 pm on Nov 30, 2015

Love the second half of this reflection, Luke. The first part is important to acknowledge, though I hope it doesn't amount to an empty promise. As you said, "it is more harmful than helpful." I also like that you're thinking of the presentation--but try to stay focused on the short term goals as well. Maybe your ability to always see the big picture, while important, is hindering your ability to stay on task. Make a plan for yourself during the week with specific tasks you want to accomplish. It will all come together. 9.5/10

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