Studies in Interpersonal Communications

Studies in Interpersonal Communications

Question one
Behavioral blend refers to application of different personality types to exhibit a certain behavior (Carbonell, 2008). Human beings have different personalities which define the character of an individual. For instance, a person may be a good decision maker and at the same time shy or influential. These different characteristics or traits are blended together to define the character of an individual.  My blend is that I am a determined person, cautious, careful, steady and always interested in people. This has had positive impacts in the way I feel about myself, the way I think, make decisions and even relate to other people.  My interpersonal communication has always achieved the desired goals because before I speak, I first reflect on what I want to speak and its impacts on the other party. This has been achieved by being cautious and careful. I am always determined to achieve my objectives in any negotiations or discussion that I participate with my fellow colleagues. This is achieved through presenting messages concisely and precisely (Stewart, 2012). My high affinity to socialize and relate with people has made it easy for me to get along well with other people in any conversation.  I understand the feelings and the emotions of people and when I engage in any conversation, I am quick at learning the moods of the colleagues and adjust amicably. This has made me maintain relationships for long. Understanding my behavioral blend has played a significant role in my relationships with other people and more specifically in enlarging my conversation. Conversation between two parties can be enlarged or extended when the two parties think on the same wavelength.  Therefore, due to my behavior blend, I have always had a positive conversation with my colleagues. We have always fared and interacted well and formed relationships that have enabled us to know each other better and even transact various business.

Question two

Identity is an umbrella concept that describes individuals based on various attributes or characteristics (Burley-Allen, 1995). For instance, a person can be defined in terms of personal identity, cultural and social identity. Identity can therefore refer to the attributes of an individual that makes that individual different from other people. For instance, in a working environment, every employee may be identified on specific attribute or character by the larger group. There are three views of identity which include scientific, humanistic and critical. In scientific view, group in which individual belong predicts communication. For example, communication between whites and blacks, gay and straight or women and men vary. In humanistic view, communication is used to create groups. People form relationships amongst themselves that makes them to form group that identify them. In critical view, the group differences center, privilege or serve some groups and at the same time marginalizing others.  This happens especially where decisions reached do not favor whole members of a group. Therefore, identity can be referred to as what is used to differentiate or identify an individual from a group (Bartsch, Hubner & Wilcox, 2005). Communication is very important in developing identity of an individual. It is through communication that an individual is able to share their opinions or thoughts with others. The sharing of opinions helps or contributes to the creation or formation of an identity. Therefore, communication builds identity through the messages we sent and communicate to other colleagues during our interactions (Stewart, 2012). For instance, when a person is very happy or angered the reactions the person shows through communication helps the listeners to create an identity of the person. It reveals who that person is and therefore, if this behavior persists, they form a perception of that individual. On the other hand, the identity of an individual may be concealed through communication. Different situations and circumstances may make an individual to hide his/her identity from the public. Example of strategies of concealing identity is keeping quite, talking a lot among many others. Every person has different identities that contradict or overlap in terms of age, race, political, religious and professional. Identities are also fluid in the sense that they are created by communication and always changes. Lastly is that identities are negotiated in communication and therefore new identities arise as people continue to engage in a conversation. Identity of people is manifested in various ways. For example in sub-Saharan countries, women may express their identity vocally or through their dressing modes.  They may wear a head cover on their heads to identify herself with religious inclinations.
Question three
Use of metaphors of inhaling and exhaling are important in exploring interpersonal because they help our understanding of communication. Inhaling refers to the process of reflecting on the information that one wants to communicate. To ensure that an individual sends the right information, there is need to reflect on the information and gather enough facts and arguments before speaking it out. On the other hand, exhaling refers to the act of communicating or passing out information in our minds to the third party (Burley-Allen, 1995). These two concepts are important in understanding interpersonal communication because they help individuals adjust their communication process depending on the situations and circumstances. They help people to reach consensus in their communication, as they are able to construct their messages and pass them well without triggering a conflict or disagreement. Listening is very important process in either inhaling or exhaling. In exhaling, it helps an individual understand the information relied and therefore assist in encoding a message in accordance to what was conveyed. Therefore, it helps communication to be relevant and easily understood (Stewart, 2012). On the other hand, listening is important in exhaling because it allows an individual to communicate or convey information that is relevant to the topic of discussion. It helps to stabilize the conversation process. Before communicating or reacting to a stimulus, a person must encode the message to be able to respond appropriately. The process of encoding requires good listening to ensure that the message or information is in line with the context of the conversations. Hence, listening is fundamental in both inhaling and exhaling process in communication.  Inhaling is therefore concerned about perception, attention and reception. In any communication, people the parties involved must perceive what they are communicating, have good reception that is achieved by being attentive.  This will enable them to understand the message conveyed hence help hem to respond appropriately.

Question four

The interpersonal communication need that has been revealed to me in the course of my reading is the context of any interpersonal communication. In many interpersonal interactions, the parties involved in communication should be aware of the context in which their communication is happening (Burley-Allen, 1995).  They need to understand the cultural background of the other parties, education levels and many other factors to be able to foster their communication and understanding. I found out that people create misunderstanding in the course of their communication because they fail to give a thought on various factors during their communication. Having knowledge about the other people characteristics is essential in ensuring that communication achieves its main goals (Stewart, 2012).  Therefore, some of the resources that I identified to ensure that such factors as the context of the parties in a communication process understand each other are for them to have a clue and knowledge of the people they are talking to (Liddicoat, 2009). For instance, the cultural background of the other party can help in eliminating barriers in communication process.  People from different backgrounds have different values, beliefs and way of thinking. Therefore to come into consensus, they have to compromise on some of the values and beliefs they hold to foster communications. Factors such as education of the speakers are equally important in any communication process. The word choice is important when speaking to people who have high academic qualifications and to illiterate people.

Understanding the context under which communication is taking place is important in reducing the barriers involved in communication. There are different types of contexts under which communication takes place. For instance, in high definition cultures, people value group communication while in low definition cultures, individualistic approaches are preferred. Therefore, identifying these differences will help individuals tailor their communications in a better manner to enhance understanding.
Question five

In the movie, there are various interpersonal concepts that are employed. Some of the concepts include use of humor, relationship deterioration and repair. For instance, the relationship between a husband and wife becomes sour when the husband decided to host a birthday party for his son without the knowledge of the mother (Stewart, 2012). The two couples differ in their utterances and their actions.  In the movie, there is degeneration of communication spiral. This occurs when the actions of individual in a communication process magnify that of the other person (Russell, Wilcox & James, 1993). This scenario is depicted in the movie as behaviors or action of families in the movies trigger action of other families. In the movie, self –disclosure helped in revealing the secrets of some characters that lead to change of behavior and disagreements. In some occasions, it also contributed to repair of relationships among other couples. Identity was revealed when the couples who had disagreed decided to investigate or evaluate their positives and negatives in the quest to seal their disagreements and rebuild their relationships. The movie therefore presents a good illustration of dynamics in relationship creation among different people in the society. Actions that people engage in communicate or say a lot on the attitudes and behaviors of the people. People respond in different ways to actions or non-verbal cues and in some cases, the reactions may be beyond expectations. The characters in the movie have demonstrated the importance of both verbal and non-verbal communication in enhancing relationships.


Bartsch, A., Hübner, S. & Wilcox, J. (2005).  Towards a Theory of Emotional        Communication, CLCWeb: Comparative Literature & Culture: A WWWeb         Journal, 7(4): 1-6.

Burley-Allen, M. (1995). Listening: the forgotten skill: A self-teaching guide. (2nd ed.).      New    York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISBN: 978-0-471-01587
Carbonell, M. (2008). How to solve the people puzzle: Understanding personality   patterns. Blue Ridge, GA: Uniquely You Resources. ISBN: 1-888846-44-5

Liddicoat, A. (2009).  Communication as Culturally Contexted Practice: A View from      Intercultural Communication, Australian Journal of Linguistics, 29 (1):115-133.

Russell, F., Wilcox, & James R. (1993). An exploratory analysis of responses to owned messages in interpersonal communication, ETC: A Review of General Semantics, 50 (2): 201-220.

Stewart, J. (Ed.). (2012). Bridges not walls: A book about interpersonal communication. (11th      ed.). Boston: McGraw Hill. ISBN: 978-0-07-3534312.

Book review The Crucible by Arthur Miller


                                               Book review: The Crucible by Arthur Miller.

  1. Introduction

The Crucible is one of the plays written by Arthur Miller, a playwright from America. The book dramatizes the way witch hunting and witch trials took place at Salem, Massachusetts in the year 1692 through 1693. The play is a metaphorical depiction of the McCarthyism which was evident by the blacklisting of a communist that was accused by the government of United States. The playwright was once interrogated in 1956 with accusations of anti-American activism. Miller was in fact accused of having contempt of the congress. This was because he had deliberately ignored the presence of some members of the American congress in his meetings. This was the foundation of this play. This drama was performed on the first time at Martin Beck Theater in 1953 (Abbotson, 2007, p.117). It was reviewed later and it won the best play award in the same year (Wilmeth & Bigsby, 1998, p.415). It is one of the principle American plays.

  1. Strength of the play

The strengths of the Crucible include: the ability to create, develop and use characters in realizing the requirements of this drama. Miller does not directly use real characters from the community he depicts in this play. This creativity in developing new characters to fit perfectly in a certain role is strength of this play. The author also uses metaphorical language to bring out themes and characters, for example, he says, “Let you not mistake your duty as I mistook my own. I came into this village like a bridegroom to his beloved, bearing gifts of high religion; the very crowns of holy law I brought, and what I touched with my bright confidence, it died; and where I turned the eye of my great faith, blood flowed up.” (132). This is a literary strength.

The title of the play is another source of strength. Crucible is a word that is used to define a metallic container that smelters use to subject other metals to extremely high rates of temperatures. Millers use it metaphorically to represent the subjection of every character in this play to certain difficult test. They are put through hot situations and environment just like a metal would be put in the crucible and made to go through very high temperatures. If a certain metal is pure, it does not melt when put through a certain degree of heat. On the contrary, the impure metals will quickly melt under the same circumstances. In the same way, characters with above the notch characters are able to win through even when they are just about to be killed, for example Rebecca Nurse and John proctor. This is seen as symbolism; that they refused to melt. According to Miller, these characters chose this dangerous path to have a fulfillment of a life worth of their principles. He says, ‘“Do you take it upon yourself to determine what this court shall believe and what it shall set aside?” (79).’

  1. Weaknesses of the Play

These include: the plot of this play is untrue to the actual historical age of the events.  There exist a wide disparity between the actual period when these events of witch hunting happened in America and the period that the playwright depicts. The events of witch hunting happened in 1692 through 1693 at the Bay of Massachusetts. The play is then written later like an allegory resulting from McCarthyism after the government of United States convicts a communist in 1956. Miller is also accused by the United States Congress of being anti-American when he refused to acknowledge the presence of other congress men in his meetings.

In addition, the other weakness of this play is that some of the characters are underwritten. This makes the reader have a restricted access to the understanding of their thoughts. The author ought to have given these minor characters a more expansive space to take part in the occurrences so that the reader can have a clear basis of attaching their character. Such characters include Ezekiel Cheever, Thomas Putnam and Betty Parris among others. The author says that human beings are of equal and crucial importance. Abigail Williams, the antagonist of this drama, (Bloom 2008, p.10) and John Proctor, the main protagonist, (Ram 1988, 22) are given too much prominence.

The other weakness in this play is that the setting is especially restricted. This is because most scenes occur in rooms and in the court only. This limits the readers’ outlook of the play as a whole. This also depicts that the author may have deliberately omitted some important parts of the play as he tried to narrow down the sceneries. It is also an indication that the play is not wholesome since it does not include the whole picture of the people, their complete environment and culture. It is therefore not inclusive.

  1. Major themes in this play

These includes: the theme of fear, individuality and reputation. The theme of fear is brought out clearly in the play. Human beings fear everything that they cannot understand. They see what is not familiar to them as a source of threat. In the Crucible, the people of Salem feared that their land would be overwhelmed by evil spirits if they allowed witch craft to take roots in their country. It is this fear that develops into hysteria, anxiety and even to paranoia. Fear spreads from one individual to the other at a very speedy rate. For example he says, “The witch-hunt was a perverse manifestation of the panic which set in among all classes when the balance began to turn toward greater individual freedom.” (6) The author is convincing in his demonstration of this theme. He gives relevant examples. For example, Betty says that she had seen Martha Bellow in the company of the devil and this makes Abigail to also begin accusing the people of town. She also accuses Sibber. Because fear is hysterical, other young girls also begin making similar accusations. From this point, everybody in Salem becomes very fearful of witches or even the impact of others accusing them as witches. People are naturally fearful of unknown things.

The theme of individuality is also depicted in this play. The government of Salem suppresses the minority and support individuality. The author says, “This predilection for minding other people’s business was time-honored among the people of Salem, and it undoubtedly created many of the suspicions which were to feed the coming madness.” (4). The playwright is convincing in his depiction of this theme because he persistently uses various characters to expound it through examples. For example, John Proctor and Elizabeth try to push for individual considerations but the Salem community does not have a place for what is not communal. It is also Elizabeth who tries to convince her accusers that there is nothing like witchcraft when she says, “A wide opinion’s running in the parish that the Devil may be among us, and I would satisfy them that they are wrong.” (26).

The other major theme is the theme of reputation. They did not believe in having their names soiled, for example, “These people had no ritual for the washing away of sins. It is another trait we inherited from them, and it has helped to discipline us as well as to breed hypocrisy among us.” (19). Several characters in the play take certain actions in order to safeguard their reputation. For example, he convincingly shows that it is because of reputation that John proctor does not testify against Abigail.  Reputation also makes him chose to die and leave a good reputation behind. He says “Let you not mistake your duty as I mistook my own. I came into this village like a bridegroom to his beloved, bearing gifts of high religion; the very crowns of holy law I brought, and what I touched with my bright confidence, it died; and where I turned the eye of my great faith, blood flowed up.” (132)

  1. Author’s writing motive

The author’s motive of writing this book was to demonstrate the social and political ills that the society goes through. The author was a victim of the fight for a capitalist world by America. He was even questioned by American congress for not recognizing the congress members in some of his meetings. This provoked him to write about the evils that political fight against individualism, instilling of fear, and the need to safeguard ones reputation may bring about in the society. He writes that the leadership believed that it was in control of every aspect of the society, “They believed, in short, that they held in their steady hands the candle that would light the world. We have inherited this belief, and it has helped and hurt us.” (5). The Author’s larger political and social agenda of this play is to portray the challenges that people go through due to fear, individual stands, and in defense of their reputation. In the social and political spheres today people are still fearful of the unknown, for example, people fear terror threats. For example, the Al-Qaeda led by the late Osama bin Laden’s twin attacks in America on September 11th.  Governments of the world have organized for more surveillance, security checks and armed follow up on the terrorists. This is similar to what was happening at Salem when people feared what would happen next if the evil spirits engulfed their land; they believed in the execution of the witches and even the suspects of witchcraft.

  1. Relevance of the play today

In conclusion, in today’s political spectrum, the author would be classified as a strong advocate of democracy and leadership integrity. This is because his work has great relevancy to what the society is going through politically. For example, the author seems to passionately advocate for individualism and the freedom of self expression. He says, “The witch-hunt was a perverse manifestation of the panic which set in among all classes when the balance began to turn toward greater individual freedom.” (6). This means that if a leader is clean, they should be incorruptible by any political evils like power, money and positions. They turn to evil ways like corruption, witchcraft and witch hunting, assassinations and election rigging. This tarnishes their names and reputation. Millers says, “The witch-hunt was not, however, a mere repression. It was also, and as importantly, a long overdue opportunity for everyone so inclined to publicly express his guilt and sins, under the cover of accusations against the victims.” (7)




Works Cited

Abbotson, Susan. Masterpieces of 20th-century American Drama. Westport, CT: Greenwood,      2005. P. 117

Bloom, Harold. Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Chelsea House, 2008. p.8

Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. New York: Penguin, 1995. Pp 4,5,6,7,19,26,79,132

Ram, Atma. Perspectives on Arthur Miller. Abhinav. 1988. P. 22

Wilmeth, Don, and Bigsby, Ellen. The Cambridge History of American Theatre.  Cambridge:        Cambridge UP. 3 (1998) 415


Coordinate Covalent Bond

Coordinate Covalent Bond

Another name of coordinate bond is the dative covalent bond.  This bond is formed from two atoms sharing one pair of electrons. These atoms are usually held together because the pair of the electrons are attracted by the two nuclei. There are some occasions that simple covalent bonds are formed. In such situation, such bonds are formed when every particular atom donates one electron to form a bond. However, it is not mandatory that the atoms should be similar (Coordinate [Dative covalent] bonding para. 1). This is a covalent bond because it consists of pairs of electrons that are shared and those that are from one common atom.

Coordinate covalent bonds are mostly associated or occur in acids and basis.  One example of a molecule that contains this bond is ammonium ions NH4+. Ammonium is a colorless gas (Kim 45).  Ammonium ions are formed when the hydrogen ions that come from hydrogen chloride is transferred or moved to the molecule of ammonia from a single pair of electrons (Coordinate [Dative covalent] bonding para. 1). This happens when ammonia and hydrogen chlorides are mixed.  This mixture results to chemical reactions that emits a white smoke referred to as solid ammonium chloride.

In the formation of ammonium Ion, the fourth hydrogen that comes from hydrogen chloride is joined or attached by a covalent bond [dative]. This is because; the hydrogen nucleus is the ones that is taken from chlorine and transformed into nitrogen. Therefore, electrons from hydrogen that is left by chlorine changed into negative chloride ions.

The moment the ammonium ions have been formed it becomes easier to differentiate between the ordinary covalent, bonds and the dative covalent.   These can be represented on a diagram. In a diagram, electrons are normally shown differently but in reality the difference between these two electronics is nonexistence (Kim 45). It is also possible to show or demonstrated how a coordinate bond looks like in a diagram.  An arrow is usually used to show this bond.  The sharp arrow is directed or comes from an atom which gives/donates the single pair.

These ammonium ions can also be generated by reacting ammonia which is a weak base with bronsted acids.

H+ + NH3 → NH4+

                Ammonium ions are also mildly acidic and when they react with bronsted which is a base they change to uncharged molecules of ammonia. Therefore, concentrated solutions of ammonia salts can be treated using strong bases like bronsted to produce ammonia. It is also possible to dissolve ammonia in water to produce or to convert small amounts of water into ammonium ions (Peifeng and Hui 21)

H3O+ + NH3 H2O + NH4+

One important factors that determines the degree to which ammonium is able to form into/change to ammonium ions is the pH of the solution.  In case the pH of the solution is low, the equilibrium normally shifts to the right as more ammonia molecules are easily converted to the ammonium ions. On the other hand, when the pH of a solution is high meaning that that concentration of hydrogen ions is a bit low, the equilibrium normally shifts to the left.  This implies that hydrogen ions hinder release of protons from the ammonium ions hence leading to generation of ammonia.

Ammonium compounds can also be formed or occur in vapor phases when hydrogen chloride vapor rise with the ammonia vapor. It is also possible to convert ammonium back to ammonia through addition of a strong base on it (Fux 17).


Works Cited

Coordinate [Dative covalent] bonding. Retrieved from:

Fux, Samuel et al. Accurate frozen-density embedding potentials as a first step towards    a          ubsystem description of covalent bonds, Journal of Chemical Physics, 132.16(2010):             16-25. Print.

Kim, Koo. Interplay of hydrogen-bond and coordinate covalentbond interactions in self- assembly of NH3 molecules on the Si (001) surface, Physical Review Letters [Phys Rev          Lett], 100.25 (2008): 45-56. Print.

Peifeng Su and Hui Li.  Energy decomposition analysis of covalent bonds and intermolecular       interactions, Journal of Chemical Physics, 131.1(2009): 21-30. Print.



If you were CEO at Disney, what would you do? Discuss


If you were CEO at Disney, what would you do?

Top management of any company has responsibility of ensuring that all the functions of their organizations are geared at achievement of set goals. They provide direction and are crucial figures in decision making process in their organizations. As a CEO of Disney, I would have done various things to ensure that the organization achieves its set objectives. The company currently faces many challenges relating to poor strategic planning and poor management (Marr 54). The company is not innovative as most of its brands and products are old; it has an indented image due to low quality of products. This has impacted negatively on the company’s financial status because of the low number of customers purchasing their products (Stanley 33). The bulk of the paper delineates on the actions or measures that I will do to improve the status of the company to regain its earlier status.

As a manager at Disney, I will work hard to ensure that the company grows.  My major objective will be to stir up or introduce various changes through programs to stimulate growth of the organization. This is a complex and a hard task that will require me to employ various strategies to ensure that the company becomes competitive and compete favorable with its competitors. The first step that I will do is to create good working relationship among the managers of various departments. The company has many departments and lines of operation under its umbrella. Therefore, to ensure that there is unity, I will come up with strategies aimed at ensuring that the managers heading different lines of operations come together and have one common vision and goal. This might not be an easy task, but through frequent discussion and by explaining to them major goals and aims of the organization, they will change their perceptions and burry their differences and work together as a team.

I will also come up with a plan on how to execute my responsibilities especially on the areas that require urgent measures such as low levels of financial gains. The problems that cause these decreases in profitability will be analyzed and the major causes identified for appropriate solution. Managers of various lines of operations are one of important components that determine the success of the general company. Managers in the company are essential because they come up with strategic plans to ensure that their departments record high performance. Poor managers who lack sufficient management skills contribute to the fall of the department and the organization at large. Therefore, these managers will be required to sign performance contract to ensure that they perform to the expected level. Those managers who will not perform to the expected standards will be replaced with more competitive ones. The company under my leadership will also require these managers to adhere to the codes of manager’s ethics in their execution of duties. This will ensure that they perform to the expected standards to realize the mission and objective of the organization. Managers of various organization are part of the decision making process of the company and therefore are essential to stirring growth of the company to the highest level.

As the CEO of Disney, I understand and appreciate the fact that many heads are better than one. Crucial decisions that concerns smooth operation of the company will be reached through discussion. All the key stakeholders in the company will be included in the decision making process to ensure that the company satisfies the needs of its stakeholders. For instance, top management of various department in the company, key stakeholders such as financial organizations and customers will be included in the decision making process to ensure that their needs are addressed (Fonda, Locke, Ressner & Corliss 46). However, there are some occasions where I will have to make decisions on my own without consulting them. In such like occasions, my decisions will be aligned towards meeting the goals and objectives of the organization.

I will also undertake initiatives of seeking for more acquisitions of companies to ensure continuous growth of the company. After acquiring Pixar Films, the company will not stop there, but will aspire to get more like minded companies to work with Disney towards attaining its goals. Such initiatives will help the company to be innovative and attract skilled personnel that will add value to the company (Grover 74). Such amalgamations will also help the company to come up with new products that suit the requirements of the consumers helping the company have a competitive edge over its competitors.  By doing so, the company will be able to attract the attention of many audience and regain their trust and faith in its products hence leading to positive financial returns.

In conclusion, I believe that by ensuring that all these things are put in place, the company will experience positive growth. Employees and any other important stakeholders will be involved in the decision making process. In addition, adequate planning will be done and initiatives aimed at ensuring growth such as acquisitions and creation or building of positive relationships will help the company achieve its goals. Therefore, as the new CEO of Disney, I am optimistic that under my leadership the company will achieve its objectives and rebuilds it reputation as the leading company in the region.



Works Cited

Fonda, D, Locke, L, Ressner, J, & Corliss, R.  “When Woody Met Mickey,” Time, 6 February 2006, 46-47

Grover, R. “How Bob Iger Unchained Disney,” Business Week, 5 February 2007, 74-79

Marr, M. “Better Mousetrap: In Shakeup, Disney Rethinks How It Reaches Audiences; Iger Seeks High-Tech Delivery Of Movies, TV Shows; Theater Owners Worry; ‘Housewives’ on a Handheld,” Wall Street Journal, 1 October 2005

Stanley, T.  “Iger Needs Superpowers for Quick Fix at Disney,” Advertising Age, 21 March 2005, 33-34.






Explain the various aspects of Obesity.


In the past, the rate of obesity was low. However, currently, the rate of obesity has increased worldwide. This increase in obesity is attributed to change of lifestyles among people. People want to live a very comfortable life. This has made them change their diets; most people opting for fast foods and junk foods that contain a lot of calories. Furthermore, they are over-engaged with work, which hinder them to participate in physical exercise. Television and other forms of media have played a big role in spreading propaganda about fast foods, which has increased their level of consumption. The government and other stakeholders have a responsibility of ensuring that the effects brought about by these ads are mitigated. The costs incurred through treatment of obesity is enormous and therefore a burden to providers and the government.  Many people have lost their lives due to obesity.


Various conditions and diseases have emerged because of the changing lifestyle of people.  Obesity/overweight is one of the health complications that many people are facing.  Obesity is a health condition where excess body fats accumulate in the body of an individual. This accumulation of body fats has adverse effects on health and may shorten the life expectancy of an individual. An individual is considered obese when the body mass index is above 30kg/m2 (Centers for disease control and prevention para. 2).  Body mass index is measured by dividing the weight of an individual in terms of kilograms with the height of the person in meters. Obesity is one of the preventive diseases and one of the leading causes of deaths in adults as well as children in the 21st century. It has also caused most serious public health issues in the world. The diseases prevalence is increasing because of the changing lifestyles among the people. For instance, it is estimated that more than one-third of the American citizens averaging to 35.7 percent suffer from obese (Centers for disease control and prevention para. 2).  Obesity causes diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and other cancer related diseases. The cost associated with treatment of cancer is high and in 2008, the medical costs associated with treatments of obesity averaged 147 US billion dollars (Centers for disease control and prevention para. 4).  Obesity is also associated with people coming from high socio-economic status. The high-income families have different eating habits. They mostly consume fatty foods, which are rich in high levels of cholesterol, which causes them to become obese.

Obesity has become a big challenge in the society. The reason for my decision to discuss about obesity is its health implication to the society. The disease is preventive but it kills many people.  There is need for society to take their own initiatives to ensure that they prevent diseases resulting from obese. Furthermore, my personal experience and encounter with individuals suffering from these health problems has increased my interest to study the area and find out more about it.  I also wanted to educate and inform the society on the best approaches to prevent the disease. Society has the responsibility of ensuring that their health status is good. Many people are ignorant on causes of obesity, which is a great factor that has contributed to the increased prevalence of obesity. Overeating and consumption of junk food is high and people like such food because of easy accessibility.  I am contended that this topic will interest the readers. The audience the paper targets include parents and children from different social economic backgrounds. The problem of obese is becoming a challenge in the society and therefore, there is need for all people in the society to be aware of the causes and the ways of preventing such disease. Even though obese was confused with healthy and wealthy, this was a misconception because the health of a person is not determined on the weights or body mass of the individual. Therefore, this discussion is aimed at countering these misconceptions, cultural beliefs that misinformed the society on the actual causes of obesity. Therefore, this discussion will play a vital role in transforming the behaviors of the society in terms of their choice of food and many other areas that may put their health in jeopardy due to obesity (Centers for disease control and prevention para. 3).


Overeating/obesity is caused by overeating and feeding on foods rich in high contents of cholesterol and fats.

Various researches have established many likely causes of obesity. The most prominent cause of obesity is eating/consuming a lot of foods that are rich in cholesterol and calories. Intake of foods rich in fatty or cholesterol plays a very high role in increased prevalence of obesity.  Many cases of obesity were associated with developed nations but this has spread to the developing countries. People in developing countries are emulating eating habits of people from the West. Mass media and technology has contributed in changing of lifestyle of people and especially in eating habits.   Junk food and fast food are on high demand. Most parents, especially those with high income and those in middle-income levels, are fond of buying these foods for their children and even themselves.  Amidst intensive awareness on the effects of these foods, people have clinched on them in the euphoria of changing to new living styles. They continue to overeat and buy these foods.  For instance, in 1984, 14% of the US population was obese compared to the current 35.7 percent. The number of people becoming obese is increasing on daily basis. The rate of consumption of calories among women in the U.S increased from 1542 per day in 1971 to 1877 by 2004, while in men, it increased from 2450 in 1971 to 2618 in the year 2004.  The increase in the number of obese people is not always attributed to the high intake of fats as many people think. Most people in the U.S who became obese had high intake of carbohydrates and sugary foods such as sweets and drinks as well as fast foods. In the case of the U.S, increased consumption of carbohydrates and sweets due to high commercial advertisements that run on various medias is a contribution factor that has caused rapid increase in obesity cases. These commercial ads appeal to many people; and especially children who develop interest in fast foods and sweets (New Statesman 6).

I have also discovered that sedimentary lifestyles that people lead contribute to the increasing rates of obesity.  People are gaining weights without their knowledge. The invention of technology and improved living standards has contributed to increase in weight in individuals (New Statesman 6). The arrival of videogames, television computers, remote controls, dishwashers, washing machines and other machines have changed the way people live. The way people are living currently is different from the way our parents and grand parents used to live. This has made people lazy and because of not engaging their body in exercises, their bodies cannot burn calories. This makes them become overweight.  Nowadays shopping has also changed. People can order goods and get the delivered at the comfort of their home. They do not have to walk to the shops to purchase their products. This contributes to accumulation of calories in their bodies due to lack of exercise (McDermott 5). Cars and other means of transportation have also played a major role in increasing the number of obese people in society. Every body is hoping and working hard to buy a car. This trend deters people from moving or walking to their shopping malls hence leading to increased number/cases of obesity. People do not engage in enough physical activities. Physical activity affects the working of hormones, which affects how the body deals with foods that are eaten.  Hormones help in balancing the level of insulin in our bodies that help to keep our weights stable. Unstable levels of insulin causes weight gain, which in turn contributes or leads to obesity.

Furthermore, I have also discovered that obesity can be caused by inadequate sleep. This cuts across all members of the society, children and adults inclusive. This was revealed after Professor Francesco of the Warwick medical school conducted a research study on 28,000 children and 15,000 adults. Children as young as 5 years as well as adults have the same chances of becoming obese due to inadequate sleep. The relationships of not having enough sleep and developing obese are explained by the fact that hormones change when a person does not have enough sleep (McDermott 5).  For instance, if a person does not get enough sleep, the Gheric hormone that is in charge of stimulating appetite is stimulated.  This makes the individual have high appetite to eat and this result to overeating, which eventually causes overweight and obese. On this argument, there are various factors that will actually contribute to whether an individual will be able to add more weight or not. Some of these factors include availability of food and the level of income to guarantee the person an opportunity to consume the food that the individual admires. Therefore, this is more evident in families that have high income or those with middle-income levels.  This is because such people have the ability to access to any kind of foods they want. Hence they are at risk of becoming obese compared to those people who earn low income or those that are poor and cannot always afford any kind of foodstuff they want.

I have also learned that there are some medicines that are subscribed to patients, which cause overweight and obese. The bodies of people are different in the way they react to medicines. Some of these medications affect functioning of our bodies. Therefore, it is salient that alternative therapies are provided to such individuals to avoid the risk of overweight and obesity. Medical practitioners should carry out thorough investigation to find out whether the drugs that they prescribe to their patients are indeed suitable. These drugs or any medication should have no effects or less negative effects on the health of the individual the drug is administered to (Keaise 83). There are endocrine disruptors, which are found in certain foods. These endocrines interfere with the lipid metabolism, which eventually cause or alter the lipid energy metabolism that cause fatty liver syndrome. This accumulation is caused by failure of liver to metabolize fructose in the body which leads to accumulation of lipids and fatty liver that eventuality causes health complication such as hypertension, resistance to insulin that makes a patience to become obese and suffer from diabetes.

Obesity and overeating is a serious challenge at this moment. The world and the way people live have changed. Compared to the earlier lifestyles, the current lifestyle people have cravings to feed on ready-made foods/processed foods, such as fast foods and junk. They do this regardless of the inherent risks of becoming obese and even suffer from medical complications such as stroke and diabetes among other complications. Technology has played a pivotal role in influencing the behavior of people in terms of the foods they consume. Various commercial promoting these junk foods are frequently advertised on television and internet. This has contributed to change of eating habits among people. These avenues perpetuate or disseminate propaganda message to the target audiences, which include children and adults to woo them to consume these products. They convey good message aired to capture the interest or the instincts of the audiences and drive them to buy their products every time they feel they want to eat some food (Foster, Gore and West 3).   This junk food is promoted to children and this explains why the rate of obesity is not going to reduce in the near future if urgent measures are not going to be taken. The manufacturing companies producing these products are driven by their self-interest of amassing more wealth by making much profit. They do not think about the effects of their products and the health implications of their products. The buck stops with the government. The government has the prerogative to put place stringent measures to ensure manufacturers produce high quality products. The reason why the government should be concerned even if they accrue income through taxes is that the effect of such products is enormous in terms of costs of meeting the treatment of the disease, increased death rate and loss of people or human capital that may have contributed positively in the economic development of the country. Government has many options to ensure that products or goods sold to consumers are of high quality (Foster, Gore and West 3).

One of the options that the government can adopt to reduce consumption of such products is to carry out an awareness campaign through various mediums such as television and social media through the internet. The message should target parents and their children and should educate them about the consequences of feeding on junk foods and foods that have high levels of cholesterol. The government can also increase the amount of taxes or Value added tax on such products to deter consumers from accessing them. This will discourage many consumers including parents and children from purchasing such products and therefore will opt to purchase other foods.

Other measures are to set standards of quality. The manufacturers should be able to produce foods that have no health implication on the users. This will reduce the level of consumption of such foods, hence causes of obesity or overweight will be reduced drastically (Kuchar 125). It is also important that government comes up with measures such as restricting the number of commercial advertisements that are aired on televisions to ensure that people are not lured into purchasing such products. These ads can be eliminated/banned or if it is necessary should be aired at specific period and should be labeled with a health message warming of the consequences of consuming such products. This will deter many people from consuming such products hence this will help to reduce the prevalence of obesity in the world (Berlant 754). These measures are important and are helpful because they will reduce the costs related to treatment of obesity and will prevent break up of related diseases such as diabetes and stroke.

Television viewing influences behaviors of individuals more. Therefore, children who view ads that promote these junk foods are often culprits. They insist that their parents and guardians buy them such foods. Therefore, by putting in place measures that bar commercial advertisements of such foods, the rate and prevalence of obesity may be reduced. There is also need for the society to change their lifestyle. Nowadays, people are not engaged in physical exercises even if they consume fatty foods and when they overeat. They normally claim that they have busy work schedules and sometimes think that doing exercise such as working and jogging is strenuous. They are misplaced. This makes them become overweight because the insulin in the body is not stimulated to act on the cholesterol. There bodies are not able to burn cholesterol in their body making them grow fat (Yancey, Leslie and Abel 425). The increased weight causes many other medical complications, which include stroke, hypertension and diabetes that finally lead to death. Obesity is one of the preventive diseases that continue to claim lives of many people. It is a disease that can be prevented and the only thing to observe is to eat balanced diets that is authenticated by the medical practitioners and engaging the body. Another important thing people should do is to always find time to exercise their body. They should find time to jog around, walk for some distance and even go to gyms to do some exercises to enable them lose their weight.   Many people nowadays are civilized and are illiterate (Levitan and Davis 783). They need to be wise enough to take proper diets to minimize the changes of becoming obese.  Obesity is related to people who earn more compared to those who earn less. People and children with access to these foods have higher chances of becoming obese. Many use their financial capability to buy such foods.  This is why it is very common to find people from high social economic status suffering from obesity related ailments such as stroke as supposed to those from low-level income.

Obesity is a society problem and its effects are devastating. Society should be concerned about this epidemic, which continues to claim lives of many. People should take their health with a lot of caution and always endeavor to eat balanced diets and do exercises. Most of the victims of obese feed on high levels of cholesterol foods, and many overeat.  The solution lies in their hands. Other influences or contributors are the media. Media, especially television and internet have contributed to the increased level of consumption of these junk foods, fast foods, sugary foods and sweets. Parents and the government have the responsibility of ensuring that such prevalence of the disease is contained. For instance, government can institute measures to restrict advertisement of such foods to help contain propaganda perpetrated by the various manufacturing companies through their ads. The effects of obesity if huge in term of cost of meeting or providing health care. Society should join hands to find amicable solutions towards the scourge that has become one of the most killing medical conditions. Obesity is preventable. Prevention is better than cure as the consequences of obesity is fatal.

Works Cited

Berlant, Lauren. Slow Death (Sovereignty, Obesity, Lateral Agency), Critical Inquiry, 33 4(2007):754-780. Print.

Centers for disease control and prevention:  Overweight and obesity, (2010). Retrieved from:   

Foster, Jill, Gore, Stacy and West, Smith. Altering TV Viewing Habits: An Unexplored    Strategy for Adult Obesity Intervention?, American Journal of Health Behavior,          30.1(2006):3-14. Print.

Keaise Martina. Kids & Obesity, Library Media Connection, 29 .5(2009):83-83. Print.

Kuchar, Gary. The Culture of Obesity in Early and Late Modernity: Body Image in           Shakespeare, Jonson, Middleton, and Skelton, Seventeenth Century News,. 67.3/4             (2009):125-128. Print.

Levitan, Robert and Davis, Caroline. Emotions and Eating Behaviour: Implications for the           Current Obesity Epidemic, University of Toronto Quarterly, 79.2(2010):783-799. Print.

McDermott, Lisa .A Critical Interrogation of Contemporary Discourses of Physical (In)    Activity amongst Canadian Children: Back to the Future, Journal of Canadian           Studies, 42.2(2008):5-42. Print.

New Statesman. How to cut out obesity, 133. 4690(2004):6-7. Print.

Yancey, Antronette, Leslie, Joanne and Abel, Emily. Obesity at the Crossroads:    Feminist and Public Health Perspectives, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture &             Society, 31.2(2006):425-443. Print.


ESL Writing Assessment

ESL Writing Assessment


While all of educational evaluation challenges teachers and researchers, writing assessments of language ability are particularly challenging. The form and content of the test and the form and content of the student’s response all rely on words. Writing has several unique features that sharpen the challenge present in all language tests. First, the learning of written language is more closely affiliated with schooling than listening, speaking, or reading (Weigle, 2002, p. 4). Also, the ability to write well is associated more with the work of schooling and subsequent success inside and beyond the academy (The National Commission on Writing, The Neglected “R” & Writing: A Ticket to Work…Or a Ticket Out, A Survey of Business Leaders). Therefore, writing assessments have high consequences for not just students, but also for teachers, administrators, and other educational stakeholders. The need for teachers and researchers to get writing assessment right is great.

This is especially true for ESL (English as second language) students. ESL face challenges when it comes to placement in various institutions. The classroom setting offers a bigger and wider challenge to ESL students as writing proficiency is usually below standards in comparison to other students. Assessing ESL students for placement positions at various institutions should be responsible and reflective of students training. Writing placement tests have been criticized on several occasions for being strictly grammar oriented or multiple-choice papers that do not capture the writing composition proficiency of a student. However, there are different confounding aspects that result from using essays for the assessment of ESL students. Key to this is the use of essays is the absence of benchmark texts, lack of flawless and reliable results criteria and lack of quantitative dimensions for inter-rater consistency.

The aim of this essay is to provide and analyze the literature review on writing assessment in the context of ESL student tests in relation to the cognitive writing model. The essay will provide solutions on overcoming problems faced by ESL students when taking writing assessment tests due to low cognitive capabilities.

                     Theories of Writing Placement Assessment

Writing assessment for a long time has been among the most problematic areas in language evaluation and determination of students’ writing competence in a second language and overall competence in the language. The main problem in this issue is discovered to be the scorer himself. Personal characteristics of different scorers result in different evaluation of the same work, which becomes a problem, because a written work receives different scores and accurate evaluation becomes nearly impossible (Godshalk, Swineford &Coffman, 1966, pp. 1-5). In psychometric scoring the differences in results given by two different scorers are seen as potential errors in overall evaluation of a written work. This means that is scoring system maintains errors in evaluation of the results it needs to be improved and as a result needs further training and changes. The differences in evaluation of two scorers of the same work means that they due to personal differences think differently about main features of the essay, on which their scoring is based. The literature review states that it is difficult to determine why some scorers are easier to find agreement on the scoring and work evaluation than the others. However, there is a hypothesis that “proficiency in a psychometric scoring task may manifest itself the cognitive behaviors of scorers” (Wolfe, Kao, Ranney, 1998, p. 466). The research done by Pula and Huot determined that understanding of scoring rubrics of the essay could be vital in difference of evaluation of the same work checked by different scorers, which directly depends on scorers’ cognition (Wolfe, Kao, Ranney, 1998, p. 467). Also, according to Vaughan (1991) individual differences can be a result in different scoring results of the same work. The studies of Pula and Huot (1993) and studies of Vaughan helped to determine main factors of scorer’s differences, which result in differences of scoring results in the process of evaluation of the same work (Wolfe, Kao, Ranney, 1998, p. 468).

Crusan (2002) states that there are two types of assessments, the direct and indirect assessments. A direct test seeks to evaluate a comprehensive understanding of language using an essay. This tests students’ of language communication within a given context. The results are evaluated according to various rubrics of the writing assignment, such as maintenance of proper format and vocabulary, sentence structure, grammar, etc, when every rubric brings certain points to the writer. On the other hand, in indirect assessment, the proficiency of students on specific language areas such as vocabulary, grammar, comprehension or reading is tested. Multiple questions test is usually used in indirect assessment and is evaluated according to number of correct answers in the questions.

According to the theory of cognitive vitality of scoring the combination of the two: direct and indirect methods are used in order to isolate specific components of a language and at the same time to evaluate them (Wolfe, Kao, Ranney, 1998, p. 468). Validity is recognized as one of the most important aspects of psychological assessment and testing. According to Messick’s (1989) unified theory, the main issue is not when one test is valid or not, but when the test scores and the inference of the test user is designed in such way that it makes the test valid or invalid.

However, the most productive and accurate alternative of a method, which involves students’ writing to be read by independent readers, is an indirect testing of writing abilities, which involves testing of grammar and its use in writing (Diederich, 1974). Various writing tests with multiple choice questions, open-ended questions and written essays can be a part of a placement test.

                                              Literature Review: Case Studies

The literature abounds with arguments for and against different scoring, specifically the direct and indirect methods. These are some of the case studies on why there are differences in scoring due to the cognition of scorers or correctors:

Vaughan (1991) study that employed think-aloud task to examine the thinking patterns of experienced essay scorers found out that scorers have an individualistic approach. Because each scorer has a varied set of experiences, these differences of opinion may become a troubling source of test-irrelevant variance – leading to both unreliable measures and invalid interpretations of test scores by creating a mismatch between the information provided to test result users through the test manual and the information provided by test scores.

Pula & Hout (1993), in a think-aloud study, found that while novice and experienced raters considered the same criteria, their reading process was quite different. To begin, novice raters in his study tended to make more comments as they read, whereas expert raters made more comments as they had finished reading. Compared to novice raters, expert raters also made a greater percentage of personal comments.  The reason for these differences, the study shows, is that expert raters already knew what to evaluate in a composition and had already developed a strategy for rating.  These researchers identified three experiential factors that differentiate expert from novice scorers: (1) personal background; (2) professional training; and (3) work experience or a scorer`s previous experiences.

Freedmen & Calfee (1989), created an information-processing model of essay scoring.  From the information processing perspective, present a model where raters: () read and comprehend text, (2) evaluate the text, and (3) articulate their evaluation (Figure 1).  So in this model, it has to be noted, raters create a text image after reading and comprehending, and it is that text image, rather than the text itself, that raters evaluate and store impressions of.  While acknowledging the possibility that rating could be a linear process, Freedman and Calfee believe that it is more likely one that is recursive, where chunks of text are evaluated as they read and comprehend.  The monitor in their model allows raters to revise their evaluations as they read and evaluate more pieces of text.

Figure 1.  Freedman and Calfee`s (1989, p.92) Model of the Rating Process


Regardless of which of these views is more appropriate for the purpose of knowing why there are differences in scoring, these studies emphasize that it is important to understand how the thinking processes and thus cognition that scorers use to evaluate decisions impact the task of scoring writing and the writing process.

Critical Analysis

For years, writing assessment has been a highly problematic area and researches have been trying to develop a method, which would assure accurate results of writing assessment evaluation (Godshalk, Swineford, & Coffman, 1966, 1-5). Variability in evaluating writing assessments especially due to corrector cognition and scores has been perceived and addressed differently by the measurement and composition communities (Broad, 2003; Huot, 2002; Moss, 1996; Weigle, 1998; White, 1993). Corrector cognition variability, for example, has often been seen by the measurement community as a “source of measurement error” that lowers the reliability and, hence, the validity of essay tests.

Diederich, French, and Carlton (1961) tried to establish the suitability of using direct assessment methods in testing the language proficiency of students. In the study 300 essays were read and assessed by 53 judges. Surprisingly, the study established that 94 % of the essays had been awarded seven different scores. This clearly shows that it is not always guaranteed that the quality of writing can be determined objectively. If one essay ended up being awarded several scores by different markers, then it proves the inadequacy of relying on the essay as the sole assessment method.

Such studies as have been reported in the literature (Bacha, 2001; Carr, 2000; Schoonen, 2005) used quantitative methods to examine essay scores but did not consider if, and how, the rating scale influences corrector decision-making behavior and cognition (Frederiksen, 1992;Freedman & Calfee, 1983). In addition, the few models of essay rating processes that have been developed (Freedman & Calfee, 1983; Homburg, 1984; Ruth & Murphy, 1988) do not say much about how the scoring method mediates the rating process (Wolfe et al., 1997). As a result, little is known about how correctors arrive at judgments about writing quality and what part of scorer cognition play in this process. Such information is crucial for designing, selecting, and improving scoring methods and corrector cognition training as well as for the validation of ESL writing assessments.

White (1993) argued that differences between correctors in opinion about the quality of essays are, like disagreements about the value of works of art, legitimate and more valuable than absolute agreement, because “they combine to bring us nearer to accurate evaluation than would simple agreement” (p. 99). White called instead for the use of “consensus score”, which, he argued, “can yield useful measurement, which reflects the social process of judgment and offers sound statistical data” (p. 99; Broad, 2003; Huot, 2002; Moss et al., 1992).

In addition, new measurement models such as Generalizability theory (G-theory) and Multi-faceted Rasch measurement (MFRM) may offer a partial answer to the conflict between reliability and validity requirements in ESL writing assessment since these models expect variation in scores across correctors cognition as well as across examinees (Brennan, 2001; Kozaki, 2004; North, 2000; Weigle, 1998). Weigle (1998), for example, pointed out that the Multi-faceted Rasch model considers corrector cognition beneficial, rather than a hindrance to writing assessments. The Rasch model, however, requires that raters be self-consistent in order to allow the mathematical modeling and compensation for predictable variations in rater severity (Kozaki, 2004; Linacre, 1994; Weigle, 1998). As discussed in the introduction above, this essay aimed to provide solutions on overcoming problems faced by ESL students when taking writing assessment tests due to low cognitive capabilities.

To this end, I may propose two solutions for joining the direct and indirect assessments to have good and reasonable score for students.  My idea is that, in the direct assessment, the students cannot get reliable score because of the different cognition of corrector. Also, in indirect assessment, we cannot measure student’s ability because the student may memorize the grammar and rules of writing. Thus, there are two solutions which are to mix two assessments to measure the student’s ability by mixing the indirect and direct assessments and the second one, is to have the accurate score from the corrector. This combination of the two, direct and indirect methods of writing assessment for the ESL students is vital in maintenance of proper results, which influences proper placement of the students. Besides, validity of the test format, both indirect and direct, is also helpful in evaluating language competence of the ESL students properly and accurately.

Implication for Teaching

This study explored and compared the literature on writing assessment in the context of ESL student tests in relation to the cognitive writing model.  Further, it provided two solutions on overcoming the problems faced by ESL students when taking writing assessment tests due to low cognitive capabilities. Theoretically, findings from the essay can help clarify the role of scoring method and rater cognition in ESL writing assessments. Such information can add to our understanding of factors contributing to variability in ESL writing test scores and suggest methods to enhance the reliability, validity, and fairness of inferences and decisions based on such scores.

At the teaching level, the essay has generated information to enhance the usefulness of writing assessments. Information from this study can be useful for making decisions about corrector cognition training and the design, selection, and improvement of scoring methods in large-scale and classroom ESL writing assessments. For instance, identifying scoring methods that require the least amount of cognition training could significantly reduce the cost of large-scale writing rating. In addition, by examining the effects of different scoring methods on the performance of raters with different levels of experience, findings from this study can help clarify which scoring methods work better for different corrector populations.  Finally, information about corrector cognition and corrector effects can help monitor and account for these effects so that the reliability, validity and fairness of writing assessment results can be improved in the future.


ESL students encounter various challenges when it comes to writing assessment. Development of proper writing assessment, training of the correctors’ cognition and modernization of the process and format of the writing assessment along with scoring system determine accurate evaluation of writing assessment. They also result in improvement of language abilities of ESL students, when they are placed to proper language study groups.




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Access and Poverty

Access and Poverty

Does everyone in your community have access to these things?

The nature of life for an individual is based on various things. These things include housing, clothing, food, good health care, childcare and cell phone among many important possessions that we require for our day-to-day living.  In our community, not everyone has an access to these things. The major reason that has deterred people to access to them is poverty.   Some people are jobless and therefore cannot access to certain things such as good shelter, food and even credit for their cell phones. Therefore, this has hindered them to lead a good life and even deterred them from accomplishing their goals.

 How is a person’s day impacted by not having these things in his or her life?

Lack of these things impacts negatively on an individual and even to the way that person manages the day. Such people feel that their days are longer. They are mostly bored and have a negative attitude towards life especially when they see their colleagues leading good lives. Some of them spend the day idling with their colleagues in the shopping center telling stories.

How can you apply the information gained in reading this week’s chapter and the class discussions to your life and/or future career?

Information I have received from reading this chapter is important in shaping my life and my future career.  First, this information has enabled me to set clear goals and aims that I need to achieve. I have learned that an individual determines his/her own destiny in life. Therefore, I will work hard  in my academics to ensure that  I successfully  accomplish my goals to  get an opportunity to better my future life and  proceed with my career.

After reading the chapter and attending class this week, what are one or two questions that have peaked your curiosity?

The two questions that have really heightened my curiosity include: What makes people to be successful and others failures? Why is it that many people are poor and yet they have adequate resources at their disposal? And is success a matter of luck or hard work?


Explain the Advantages and disadvantages of packet switched networks over circuit switched networks.


Advantages and disadvantages of packet switched networks over circuit switched networks

These two types of switched networks are both used in various transmissions of data from one end to another.  A circuit switched network is a virtual connection that connects two ends and has a bandwidth, while a packet switched network is where packets of information is send from the source to the destination through any suitable connection available. Both two types of switched networks have advantages as well as disadvantages

One advantage of the packet switching network is that it utilizes the available networks because of its capability to distribute the available traffic through various connections available. This makes it much effective than circuit when sending huge amount of information. Furthermore, packet switching has much higher flat tolerance compared to the circuit network because bad performance is enhanced by the available network as well as capability of putting in sequence of the incoming packets by the involvement or assistance of the extra overhead. On the other hand, packet switching network has some disadvantages, which includes the need to resent some of the packets that may get lost in their transmission. This may cause delay in the transmission of data packets. This is best explained by Time-to-Live for packets concept.  This concept means that after the packets expires or time is out, they are dropped to the next devices, which receives them and sends them to the end. This explains why this network might delay sending of information. Furthermore, some packets may not be transmitted to the end as some are dropped on their way hence may reach the destination in bad sequence.

Some of the disadvantages of circuit switched network are that messages are end quickly in wholesome as opposed to sending through paths.  The message send arrives as a whole and therefore there is no need of reassembling the message hence ensures that communication is fully enhanced.

Suppose transmission channels become virtually error-free. Is the data link layer still need?

This data link layer provides/ensures that there is error free transfer of frames from two computers over the application layer.  Layers that are above data link layers are able to assume virtually free transmission over the network but those below this are not able. It is therefore an important layer if reliable delivery of data is required.  Even though there are many routable protocols such as internet protocol and TCP, they are not able to provide and utilize the services of data-link layer delivery services. Therefore, for reliable transmission of data this layer is of importance since for data to be transmitted well it must be provided by protocol operating at the transport layer. Furthermore, data link layer provides a range of services in the transmission of data. These includes it terminates and establishes logical links; it controls frames transported between computers and can allow or restrict transmission of frame buffers.  It ensures transmission and reception of frames sequentially, listens and provides frame acknowledgement by identifying errors in the physical layer. It also manages media by checking whether the computer is allowed to use physical media,  it delimits and creates  frame boundaries and  checks  frames for errors as well as  inspection of the addresses of each received frame and  sending it to its required layer. Therefore, it is paramount that these data link layer is still needed even if the transmission channel becomes virtually error free.

Mr. Not To Bright decides to do away with DNS. Instead, he stores the mapping between domain names and IP addresses in a local file that is stored on his computer. He argues that this approach is better since it resolves domain names much faster. What is the problem with this approach?

The approach that Mr. Not to Bright has chosen is not appropriate. This is because; it will be difficult for him to remember the sites that he wants to browse. It is also time consuming and may not be able to locate the address easily. Second is that he would not be able to update the addresses and therefore will not be able to find new domains. Their names or IP connections will not be available to him because, he is not the one who creates them. The reasons why this approach he has chosen is bad is because every computer has its IP address. This address comes from DNS, which consists of series of servers that translates IP addresses to information that is easily recognized by human beings. For instance, a domain name of Yahoo maybe This is a difficult code to remember and to type into the browser. Therefore, DNS allows people to use links such as to access easily to yahoo. This therefore saves time and agony of remembering four-digit code number. Therefore, use of DNS helps to direct users to internet service providers that help them to find the server and locate information easier, hence the reason why he should not use this approach.

What protocol (between UDP and TCP) do the following protocols use? Give reasons accordingly.


TCP is a connection-oriented kind of protocol that transmits data. This protocol requires that data is consistent at the source. On the other hand, UDP also called User Datagram Protocol in less of connection protocol. It does not require data to be consistent like the TCP and does not need connection to be available between the host computers for consistency of data. It has smaller data packets not more than 512 bytes. It communicates with each other and it transfers information in form of queries because of its being not able to connect.  TCP on the other hand is used in transmission of data between secondary and primary DNS. This is because it is able to transmit information between different servers.

FTP also called file transfer protocol, is a network protocol that is used in transferring of files from one computer to another.  Therefore, this transfer is necessitated by TCP such as the internet. UDP is not conducive for this. TCP protocol is able to send huge files and over a distance. Furthermore, TCP is able to send encrypted files over the internet hence appropriates. It is also appropriate protocol to send FTP files because; these files can be edited and changed by the receiver.

HTTP also called hypertext transfer protocol is an application layer protocol that is designed in the framework of an internet protocol suite.  It operates as a request –response protocol in a client-computing model. It communicates over TCP connections.  Even though it may be used on UDP like Simple Service Discovery Protocol, it is however effective when used under TCP. The reason is because HTTP is used to transmit data over the internet and is built of the internet protocol suite.


Bob Dylan’s song The times are a changin

Bob Dylan’s song “The times are a changin”

‘The times are a changin’ is a song that was composed and sung by Bob Dylan in early 1964.  The music is categorized under folk music and it became a hit during the 1960s because of its message and the way it was composed. The song transformed the music culture in the sense that it sought to change the way people perceived life. It also made people flexible and be able to accept change.

Bob was a singer as well as songwriter, whose real name was Robert Allen Zinmmerman. He was born in Duluth, Minnesota on May 24 1941 (Wisser, 2005, p. 5).  His love for music became evident while he was at high school.  His role models include early rock stars such as Jerry Lewis, Elvis Presley and Richard Little among others (Dylan, 1964).  He played guitar and piano later forming his own band.  He began performing country and folk music in a university of Minnesota where he adapted the name Bob Dylan (Dylan, 1964).  His star in music began shining in 1961 when he first signed his recording contract. Since then, he has motivated and influenced the lives of many people (Wisser, 2005, p. 5).

The song ‘the times are a changin’ was one of the hit songs during the time. The song was written with high quality and creativity. The song came at the right time and reflected the lives of the U.S people. It has nice sound and melodies to listen. The lyrics centers of politics, religion and social influences of the time.  For instance, he appeals to congressmen and senators to fight together till the end, “for he who gets hurt/will be he who has stalled” (Dylan, 1964). The song is accompanied with guitars, harmonica and keyboards, which makes the music interesting to listen to. The song has five verses and every stanza communicates a different message to the society. Therefore, the song provided a source of inspiration to the lives of upcoming musicians and the society (Walsh, 2000, p. 18). The song opens by bringing people together, “come gather round people” “wherever you roam” (Dylan, 1964). Therefore, the author is trying to create unity among the society by appealing to them to join hands and work together.  It appeals for all people to join hands for a common course. This is exhibited through the uses of words like “come” (Dylan, 1964). Four phrases in the song begin with this word and all the verses end with the phrase, “for the times they are a-changin” (Dylan, 1964). This format of pattern has made it easy to remember the song as well as made it easy to recite and understand. This therefore explains the reason why the song of the time and intercultural. The author also uses metaphors such as “water” to refer to the change revolution in the counterculture, “and admit that the waters around you have grown” (Dylan, 1964). This makes the song look innovative and creative hence appealing to listen.

Analysis of the song

Most songwriters and singers sing a song to send a certain message to the society. Songs also are used for leisure.  ‘The times are a changin’ is one of the songs that performed well and depicts the history of the US.  The song has various meaning to the society. For instance, in the first verse, the singer alerts its audience to watch their step. It is more or less borrowed from a biblical perspective.  He cautions people to watch their steps in order not to get lost on the way, “then you better start swimming’ or you’ll sink like a stone” (Dylan, 1964). Things are changing and therefore, they should take precautions and be very much attentive to ensure that they walk in the right direction. The second verse warns elite people, authors and journalist to be watchful of the present events, “and keep your eyes wide” (Dylan, 1964). They need to document such things to help others in future.  Fate often changes and they should expect unanticipated twists in life, as some are good while others bad (Galenson, 2009, p. 17).

The third verse is some sort of political in nature.  It requires political leaders to take necessary measures to quell conflicts happening in Vietnam. People are losing their lives carelessly because of the conflict and this should be addressed urgently before the situation escalates to their homes, “there’s a battle outside and it is ragin’(Walsh, 2000, p. 18). The fourth verse is about the need to embrace change, ‘your old road is rapidly agin’”. Parents should relinquish their prejudices and fears and allow their children to live according to the current lifestyles, “please get out of the new one” (Lustig, 2002, p. 37). They should be allowed to explore and live their lives according to the current lifestyles, and the first one now will later be last” (Dunlap, 2006, p. 549). The last verse sums the message. It requires that society change their perception about life. They should not delve on the past but rather focus on the future (Dunlap, 2006, p. 549). The song therefore talks about the history of the U.S, especially its participation in the Vietnam War during 1950s.  The war caused a lot of deaths and destruction. An approximate of one million soldiers in Vietnam died during the war. Had the leaders taken the initiative of ensuring peace, such deaths could not have occurred. It also brings into perspective the changing lifestyle of the youths in America during the 1960s. Many of the parents of the older generations were adamant in embracing the new lifestyles of their young for fear of losing the morals. Therefore, the songs helps highlight these conflicts that ensued between the older and the new generations, who wanted to live their lives differently to that of their parents. On the other hand, parents felt that their culture was facing extinction hence they clinched on their traditional and beliefs, which caused a lot of misunderstanding between the two.  The song illustrates the changing lifestyles of people and the effect of war in a country. It agitates for people to be cautions of what they do”They should not allow the past to be their source of inspiration” (Lustig, 2002, p. 37). For instance, Bob was also sending out a message to the society especially America generation to forget about the past such as wars and other issues that had affected them negatively and move on with their lives. The past should form the basis of not acting in a certain manner.

The song raises some questions such as whether people can be able to accept changes at free will. In most cultures, it is difficult for the society to accept new ways of living and this is also evident in the current world (Lustig, 2002, p. 37). The song was actually new during the 1960s in terms of message presentation. However, other issues such as song accompaniment are the same like those early musicians. For instance, guitar and keyboards were used in early music.   It also talked about the way people should live and perceive life; the same messages that earlier musicians talked about.

The song is a role model to many new musicians who came up earlier in 1970s. Many youths with the passion of singing and writing music were motivated and encouraged by Bob in this music. For instance, he changed the notion that for a person to sing, he/she must have a good voice. Many upcoming musicians have managed to achieve their dreams in music through his inspirations.


Dunlap, J.  (2006). Through the Eyes of Tom Joad: Patterns of American Idealism, Bob Dylan, and the Folk Protest Movement, Popular Music & Society, 29(5): 549- 573.

Dylan, B. (1964).  The Times They Are A-Changin.’” N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Sep.  2012.

Galenson, D. W. (2009). From “White Christmas” to Sgt. Pepper: The Conceptual Revolution in Popular Music, Historical Methods, 42(1): 17-34.

Lustig, J. (2002). Times are a-changin’: Dylan tops expectations, banging out chords and a few solos, Star-Ledger, The (Newark, NJ), Today final, p. 37

Walsh, J. (2000). Times are a-changin’, and not in a good way, Dylan sings: Pop music critic. St. Paul Pioneer Press (MN)

Wisser, J. (2005). Ball park figure; Times are a-changin’ for Bob Dylan – venues, instruments too, Elk Grove Times (IL), Diversions, p. 005.


The Role of Eisenhower

The Role of Eisenhower


Eisenhower was born in America in1890 and died on March 28th 1969. Eisenhower was the President and the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of United States of America from 1953 to 1961. He became the 34th president of the United States of America. Before his election to the presidency, he had served in the army as a five-star general majorly in World War II. He was also the supreme commander of the allied group of forces that fought in Europe. He was the chief of staff during the reign of Harry Truman. He later became the president of the University of Columbia. In addition, he planned and executed the operation torch that invaded North Africa between 1942 and 1943[1]. He also planned successful operations that attacked Germany and France between 1944 and 1945[2]. Eisenhower is remembered as the first person to be appointed to the position of supreme commander of North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Reared in a family of six, Eisenhower attended West point school from which he also graduated. He married Mamie Geneva and had two sons: Doud and John[3]. President Eisenhower played a key role in ending the Korean War and in the eight years of peace during his presidency. Eisenhower was the first military general to become a president in United States of America. He is also remembered for his role in economic growth in the United States during his tenure. His landmark legacy was the construction of interstate highway system that connected almost all states in the United States of America.



Military Career

Eisenhower graduated in 1915 after which he served with infantry supplies department in Texas. [4] He was also a football coach in St. Louis College at St. Mary University[5]. He was later promoted to lieutenant colonel when he worked with tank corps in 1918[6]. He was a trainer and a battle ground commander of the tank crew during the Pennsylvania civil war. It is during this war that Eisenhower role was noted. He had an ability to make replacements for optimum performance[7]. His home service was honored when he received the Distinguished Service Medal.

When the war ended Eisenhower received another promotion to a major. He had been holding this position for 16 years[8]. He played a major role in the transcontinental Army in the convoy to test the need for improving of roads in the United States in 1919. He later went to camp Maede as a battalion commander of tankers. After that, he was promoted to executive officer for general corner in Canal Zone of Panama. He served in this rank until 1924 when corner recommended him to join General Staff and command College in Kansas. According to Bender and Mark (1990), Eisenhower became the first out of 245 officers[9]. He went out to serve in the capacity of commander of battalions in Georgia. He joined American battle monuments commission and later published the American battlefields guide in Europe. He served as the executive officer for General Mosley, as a deputy war secretary up to 1933. While here, he planned for the next war. Later he was appointed to the post of chief military aide of General MacArthur who was the chief of staff in the army. He advised his senior McArthur against actions that would hurt the veterans especially in the public domain[10]. He also played a key role in helping the Philippine government develop an army in 1935. In 1936, he was promoted to the position of permanent lieutenant. In 1939, he returned to the United States where he was later appointed as a chief of staff and third army commander in Texas. In 1941, he was appointed brigadier general after his successful role in Louisiana maneuvers.

Eisenhower was positioned as a General Staff in Washington until 1942. His role was to create war strategies to bring down Germany and Japan following Japanese assault at Pearl Harbor. He was later promoted to deputy chief of pacific defenses and later to chief of war plans division. Eisenhower also commanded the operation Torch and operation Avalanche successfully[11]. Besides, he served as a supreme allied commander and led the operation overlord. In addition, he played a key role in liberation of France and victory in Europe after which he was promoted to the rank of General of the Army. According to Jean (2012), Eisenhower’s diplomatic tactics made him rarely upset by difference in opinion with Churchill, Montgomery, and he even became a friend to Marshal Zhukov of Russia[12].

When Germany surrendered, he was appointed the military governor in U.S. occupational zone. He also played a crucial role in supplying food aids to the devastated Germany. In 1945, he was appointed the chief of staff army in Washington where he played a major role in demobilization of soldiers.

He was also instrumental in prevention of another war when he supported the United Nations peaceful relations. Eisenhower was appointed the president at University of Columbia in 1948 where he was instrumental in building a cultural center for the business professionals and political leaders.


In 1952, he rejected the offer by President Truman to run for presidency under the Democratic Party ticket. He appointed Richard Nixon to appease the youth and the old members of the Republican Party. This promoted equality of the old and the youth in leadership. He eventually defeated Aldlai Stevenson with a 442 to 89 win.

Eisenhower was elected to presidency in 1952 under the Republican Party after the end of term for his predecessor President Harry Truman. In his presidential campaigns, Eisenhower promised to bring to an end the war in Korea, corruption, and communism. According to him, these were the three things that Truman’s government had been unable to do for the Americans.

Major Achievements in Fight for Equality

Eisenhower was determined to eliminate communism, which was prominent in the world. It is this conviction to fight communism made him appoint Richard Nixon as his vice-president due to his strong opposition of communism and its activities. In addition, he did so to ensure the composition of the youth into his leadership. This was because he was aged and people would disregard his government to be that of old people.

As a President, he appointed corporate leaders and executives but included a labor leader. This was a great show of equality since there were no his friends or even former administrators in the cabinet. Moreover, he ensured enactment of policies that balanced the United States’ budget and ended the wage and price control[13]. This would promote the equality of the business tycoons and the small-scale traders. It would also equate wages for the laborers in the same wage group. Eisenhower’s repeatedly use of the mass media to brief the citizenly on major government undertakings is also viewed as a step in promoting equality of all citizens in accessing government information.

In addition, according to Ambrose (1983), in the run for his second term of presidency, Eisenhower did not openly give his choice of a vice president but left the matter to the party to decide[14]. This is also an indication of his pursuit for equality. Moreover, he fought for equality of all citizens. He was against segregation in allocation of government funds.

According to Nichol and David (2007), he even declared segregation a national security threat. He ensured entry of black students in white public schools[15]. This certainly promoted equality of American citizens to a great extent[16].

In conclusion, Eisenhower was a vibrant military person who rose through the ranks to become the Commander in Chief in the U.S. He was instrumental in many military expeditions, both within his country and outside. He is also remembered for his diplomatic ability in relating with his opponents both internally and in foreign nations. When he became the President of the U.S., he helped to promote equality, end segregation policies, wars in foreign nations and maintain a leveled economy amidst recession.




Ambrose, Stephen E. (1983). Eisenhower: Soldier, General of the Army, President-Elect, 1890–1952.

D’Este, Carlo. (2002). Eisenhower: A Soldier’s Life, p. 58.

Bender, Mark C. (1990). “Watershed at Leavenworth”. U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.

Jean Edward Smith. (2012). Eisenhower in War and Peace, p. 451.

Mayer, Michael S. (1989). “The Eisenhower Administration and the Civil Rights Act of 1957”. Congress & the Presidency 16 (2): 137–154.

Nichol, David. (2007). A Matter of Justice: Eisenhower and the Beginning of the Civil Rights Revolution. New York: Simon & Schuster.




[1]               Stephen Ambrose (1983). Eisenhower: Soldier, General of the Army, President-Elect, 1890 1952.

[2]               Ibid

[3]               Ibid

[4]               Stephen Ambrose (1983). Eisenhower: Soldier, General of the Army, President-Elect, 1890 1952

[5]               Ibid

[6]               Ibid

[7]               Ibid

[8]               Ibid

[9]               Mark Bender (1990). “Watershed at Leavenworth”. U.S. Army Command and General Staff College


[10]             Carlo D’Este (2002). Eisenhower: A Soldier’s Life, p. 58.

[11]             Stephen Ambrose (1983). Eisenhower: Soldier, General of the Army, President-Elect, 1890 1952.

[12]             Smith Jean Edward. (2012). Eisenhower in War and Peace, p. 451.


[13]             Stephen Ambrose (1983). Eisenhower: Soldier, General of the Army, President-Elect, 1890 1952


[14]             Stephen Ambrose (1983). Eisenhower: Soldier, General of the Army, President-Elect, 1890 1952


[15]             David Nichol (2007). A Matter of Justice: Eisenhower and the Beginning of the Civil Rights Revolution.

New York: Simon & Schuster.

[16]             Michael Mayer (1989). “The Eisenhower Administration and the Civil Rights Act of 1957”. Congress &

the Presidency 16 (2): 137–154.