Self Interview

Yunmi Hong
My self-interview

Who can be called a 1.5 generation Korean-American?
Generally, a 1.5 generation Korean-American is a person whose nationality is Korean but was born in America. It could also be that a person is born in Korea but they came to the states at a very young age. An individual whose appearance is Korean, but yet they feel very much American. A person who is not familiar with the language and culture, like a person who was educated in Korea would be.

Where will you be getting the research data from to back up your field guide?
With this kind of topic, hardcore evidence or fact does not exist. How can one say that someone’s feeling or hardship is a fact? It cannot be. Majority of information used in the field guide will be videos from youtube, articles that were already written in a similar topic and voices from real people going through the same situation. “Hardcore” evidence will be used in the beginning of the field guide to give introduction to the country’s culture and history.

Information about your topic has been written about many times by others, what makes yours different?
This isn’t such a fair question to be asked, but if it must be answered, this field guide will include a lot of personal stories and experiences from people that I know and myself included. These types of information make any article of piece of writing unique. Yes, the questions and bullets of topics will be similar to a lot of things out there, I’m sure, but the answers and examples will be from personal stories and experience that make this field guide different.

Do you think you will write your field guide on a bias opinion and thought?
It is true that I myself is a 1.5 Korean-American. But being professional as I am, I will keep my bias opinions and thoughts to the very minimal. My goal for this field guide is to include many examples of other people, not myself. But if you look at this question from another light, how can I not include my bias opinions? This topic itself could be considered bias.

Is your goal to help someone understand the difference? How will your field guide make a difference in someone’s life?
Making a difference in someone’s life isn’t easy. But at the same time, it isn’t hard. A simple smile to a stranger will make a ripple effect and brighten someone’s day. Isn’t that difference? The power to knowledge and sharing that knowledge is unbelievable. Everybody is aching for someone to listen to their stories, or even aching to hear that someone out there is going through the same thing as themselves. This field guide will be there to comfort someone who is confused and troubled of why they are going through what they are going through. This field guide will be there to relate back to in situations that come up everyday. If that isn’t difference in someone’s life, then what is?

Alyssa O'Toole
10 Self-Interview Questions

I included all ten because I am late in posting the five that were required and I want as much feedback as possible. Please feel free to provide me with any suggestions that you may have.

1) What purpose does your field guide serve?

As mentioned in my biographical sketch, my field guide will not serve as a solution to an ongoing dilemma but rather a document that impresses upon its audience a need for immediate and lasting change. Through use of language and evidence I hope to inform as well as motivate my reader to think about this issue in new ways.

2) Considering how poor the economy is presently, is it really feasible to expect that budget cuts won’t take place?

I do not expect nor advocate that budget cuts disappear as a method to cope with an economic crisis completely. In moderation, budget cuts can help us to consolidate services and become efficient in the way we operate. They aren’t beneficial but they can and do serve as a way to eliminate waste and allocate resources more practically. However, for the past three years and especially in the heat of the economic downturn, budget cuts have grown in frequency and amount. If this is how we continue to cope, then education may disappear completely. It is a simple distinction: budget cuts should be used but not relied upon; they are not sustainable.

3) How will additional funding be raised to preserve extra curricular programs such as music?

Raising funds is never easy. A lot of time it requires the taking of resources from one initiative and the allocating of them toward another. This is the reasoning behind the budget cuts that are weakening music programs nationwide. Personally, I don’t support many of the past attempts made to raise funds (layoffs, shortened educations, and elimination of programs). These seldom foster revival or growth and are ineffective methods for long-term success. (In this case long-term success can be defined as the accessibility of a music education for every individual.)

After doing research, methods that I considered to be more effective were raising taxes, holding more frequent fundraisers, acquiring more grants and supporting more music-based initiatives. One that should be recognized is the VH1 Save the Music Foundation. This foundation has restored over 1,600 instrumental music programs in more than 100 cities nationwide, putting instruments into the hands of 1.2 million children. It is also able to make grants at no cost to other initiatives. Uniquely, it has succeeded purely on the generous support of corporate sponsors, foundations, individuals and partners. Foundations such as this support revival and growth and are a part of a larger strategy that we should all begin to support.

As we take on these methods, there is one more important factor that we must consider. Music will never be a part of our enduring education unless it is considered to be integral to an individual’s development. Thus, continuous research must be supported and presented to appropriate stakeholders on an ongoing and unremitting basis. (If I ever am successful as a musician one of the first things I will do, will be fund more research initiatives proving the advantages of a music education!)

4) What gives you the credentials to make assertions about such a complex problem?

While I am not an expert on government spending or involved in education policy, I have acquired skills and interests that I will use to help guide the assertions I make throughout the field guide. For three years I studied business administration at Ithaca College. This degree gave me a considerable background in relevant subjects including but not limited to economics, finance, strategic management, and sustainable practices according to the 3 P’s (People, Planet, Profit). I am also a classically trained pianist who has devoted the majority of my life to making and learning music. I can personally attest to the advantages of studying music that will be evidenced in my document. Aside from my personal skills and interests, I will research outside sources. These sources will include studies, articles and proposals that will help me create a stronger foundation from which assertions can be made.

5) You say budget cuts are not sustainable. Why is this?

Budget cuts are not sustainable because they are a short-term fix for a long-term problem. I’d like to give the following example. Let’s say a family member finances your car. The following year poor economic times forced your family member to use half of the money that usually goes toward your car on bills. He/she believed that your ability to go places was not as important as the bills that had to be paid; you were able to use the rest of your savings to get by. Your third year in college, the economy worsened and your family member used all of the money that goes toward your car on more bills. That family member took incremental amounts of money from you over several years, and after a short period of time there were still bills to pay but you had no car because you couldn’t finance it. This is exactly the scenario of the issue I am covering except government is unable to finance our schools in their endeavors and so it is the stakeholders who are suffering. Ultimately, if the government takes incremental amounts of money from schools over many years in the form of budget cuts, there will be no money left to give to the schools but there will still be a deficit to be paid. Education, unlike a car, is not something we can forego as a nation, thus we need to find ways to raise funds as opposed to reduce them, as a more sustainable strategy.

6) How do you expect to organize your field guide?

I plan to organize my field guide in the following way:

I. An introduction of the dilemma at hand.
(Poor economic times are forcing us to conserve resources like never before. School districts all over the nation are facing budget cuts. These cuts are weakening/eliminating music programs, depriving students of the full education they are entitled to. )
II. My first assertion.
(We cannot starve our music programs of adequate funding. Music is an integral part of our education.)
III. Advantages of a music education.
(Supported by evidence of studies and other research conducted.)
IV. The economic crisis
(Including methods that have been taken to secure funds, budget cuts over the past couple years and what this means for current and future students.)
(Methods have included budget cuts per pupil, lay offs, reduced take-home pay for teachers, shortened school years and budget cuts per program*. Since budget cuts per program is what is depriving students of a music education, I will focus on this. A graph will be provided of overall education and arts spending from 2008-present. This will show that budget cuts are getting larger and having more impact every year.)
V. Proposition.
(We should reduce, not eliminate altogether, budget cuts affecting the arts and explore alternative ways to secure funds for music programs and our greater educations.)
VI. My second assertion.
(We need a more sustainable (long-term) strategy to securing funds.)
VII. Conclusion.
(Recap the dilemma and what will happen if we don’t being exploring more strategic alternatives now. This section will further impress upon my audience a sense of urgency and need for change.)

7) How do values play a role in a dilemma such as this?

Values of opposing parties are always driving factors of an ongoing debate. In literal terms, values are one’s judgment about what is important in life. In this debate, there are two adversaries encompassing very different beliefs. Those with a professional stake in the debate, most likely share the value of “sacrifice for a greater good,” meaning this group believes reducing aid for arts programs is a better alternative, than say, raising taxes for families across the state. Contrarily, those with a personal stake in the debate are much more focused on the intrinsic and extrinsic benefits that music brings. For example, this group may believe that music is not only a wonderful subject to study, but that it provides its learner with skills that are useful across any discipline at any time. It is the ammunition that these values hold, that end up deciding who wins the war.

8) Will you be advocating a specific side of the issue?

As an avid musician, it is extremely difficult for me not to advocate against budget cuts affecting the arts. Every individual, in my opinion should have a music education. However, I will strive to put forth an unbiased field guide that covers in depth, both sides of the issue.

9) Can you provide some reasons that music is/should be regarded as a fundamental component of our education?

Without going into too much detail recent studies have concluded that music makes you “smarter.” Starting from a very young age, individuals who are exposed to music are shown to develop neural connections necessary for understanding complex mathematical and scientific concepts. The research also demonstrates an important relationship between musical training and other cognitive abilities, particularly spatial abilities. Those who study music are better prepared to do things like calculate proportions or even play chess. Early music training influences brain development, much in the same way that reading to a young child does. Thus, what parent, teacher, or government would choose to deny a child an experience that has been proven to be as advantageous as this?

10) What major parties are responsible for the ultimate decision-making surrounding your issue?

There are three major parties that make the ultimate decisions. They are (1) The State Education Department (SED). This party is responsible for determining the State share of financial support for education. (2) The Board of Regents. This party oversees the SED and establishes education policy. (3) The Council on the Arts. This is an executive agency dedicated to preserving and promoting each state’s heritage of cultural resources as well as expanding access to arts and cultural institutions statewide. It is directly involved with advisory services and financial assistance to the State’s art community.

The single largest program administered by SED is School Aid, which is allocated to school districts primarily through statutory formulas. It helps finance elementary and secondary education. Presently, the 2010-2011 executive budget proposal recommends a “progressively structured reduction to overall School Aid,” with new ways to control expenses and use existing resources.

Lena Hong

Question 1: What are genetically modified organisms and genetically modified foods?

Genetically modified organisms are known as organisms that are adjusted in a certain way that does not occur naturally. The genetic changes allow certain individual genes to be moved from one organism to another. These methods are usually used to create genetically modified plants, which then are used to grow genetically modified food crops.

Question 2: Are genetically modified foods assessed differently from traditional foods?

People who usually consume traditional foods, they assume they are safe. When certain foods are created naturally, some of the vacant characteristic of foods can be tainted. Some can altered in a positive and negative way, the national food authorities can be called to check traditional foods, but it is not always the case. With some genetically modified foods, most national authorities believe that specific assessments are necessary. Since genetically modified foods are fixed by humans, certain systems have been assigned thorough evaluations of genetically modified organisms and foods relative to the human health and environment.

Question 3: Are GM foods safe?

Diverse genetically modified contain different genes inserted in different ways. Causing the modified foods and their safety to be carefully assessed on an individual basis. Although it is not probable to make general statements on all the modified foods. The modified organisms and foods are currently obtainable to the world market, showing that it has passed the risk assessments and are not likely to cause any risks to the human health.

Question 4: What are the main issues of concern for human health?

The only problems that come with modified foods are that there are allergic reactions and out crossing.

The allergic reactions: Although developed foods are not tested for allergenicity, procedures for tests for modified foods have been evaluated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. There are currently no allergic effects in modified foods currently on the market.

The outcrossing: The progress of certain genes in modified plants into conventional crops or associated species as well as the integration of crops are from conventional seeds with those grown using modified crops, may have an indirect effect on food safety and food security. There are multiple places around the world, which have been able to adapt to strategies to reduce the mixing. As well as separating fields where genetically modified crops and conventional crops are grown.

Question 5: How is a field guide about genetically modified foods going to benefit people?

A field guide about genetically modified foods will benefit everyone because as a writer, I believe everyone is still unaware about what genetically modified foods and organism are. They consume these products every day, thinking it is just a veggie or just a fruit. This guide will lead readers into a world of science they have never seen before. Knowing or not knowing if you are allergic to the object itself, or being allergic to the chemicals in it. The public will not recognize it until they read this field guide.

Andrew Williamson
Self Interview

1.Why Geothermal Energy over other energies?
I thought it had potential; it uses the power of the earth’s core to create energy, and saw it as something that will never run out as long as we are alive.

2.What is important about switching over to geothermal energy?
It is important to switch over to a different energy source, regardless of what type, because this dependency of oil, coal, and gas is will lead to our extinction if we do not do anything about it.

3.Why didn’t you talk about the ability to use all alternative energy sources?
I wanted to focus on one type so that I can be as descriptive as possible.

4.Why didn’t you put a time limit on this?
I did not put a time limit because I am not sure right now how long it will take. It could take five years, it could take 25 years, or it might not even be possible. I want to know if we can, and how long it will take, without putting a restraint of time on it.

5.What if it gives an answer that your audience will not want to hear?
Regardless if it is possible or not, they need to hear the facts and not be so hopeful to want to try it whether it works or not.

Janette Wambere
Self Interview

1) What is your field guide about?
This document is mainly about Africa’s dependence on international aid. It looks into the relationship between Africa’s economy and the aid that it receives.

It is unfortunate than a really big part of Africa’s economy depends on international aid even today. This aid is part of the reason why Africa’s economy is the way it is. This is not the first time that this realization is being made. This issue has been discussed several times and even several solutions suggested. But there is still not enough being done.

2) Are you saying that those sending aid to African countries should stop?
No. I am saying that there are better ways to help. What has been happening for the past years, giving food, medicine and other necessities has helped save hundreds of thousands of lives. Unfortunately, it is a short term solution to the main problem. Giving and giving ends up causing more harm than good. If we could change the way we offer support and instead teach self dependence then this will be better than just offering supplies that will sooner or later run out.

3) More harm than good? Isn’t that a bit harsh?
It depends on how you look at the situation. The way I see it, the whole continent’s well being is at risk.

If something happens, for example the current economic situation, if the supporting country or organization finds itself in a situation where it is unable to give more aid, it will simply pull out. What happens to the African countries though? Are they left to perish? Isn’t that a bit harsh?

4) What do you suggest should happen?
Several organizations have been looking into this matter and have come up with several ideas of solutions that they think might work. If everyone involved could do their part, no matter how small, to try out these solutions then I am sure we could see some changes. Reducing the aid slowly while increasing self dependence skills should bring transformation to the people of Africa and it’s economy.

5) Do you really think this will work?
Well it does seem like a long shot, but yes, eventually it will.
It will be challenging of course since there are so many parts of Africa where people are dealing with hunger, drought and disease, and they are not able to work. Such circumstances will cause problems.

There are also other places where the people are able to work, but because of the large populations, there are no jobs available.

Either way, just because it will be hard, does not mean we should give up even before we try.

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