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An Analysis of the Culture of India [Essay]

An Analysis of the Culture of India

Richard X. Thripp

Daytona State College

For Dr. Natalie D. Rooney

EDF 2085 Introduction to Diversity for Educators

Culture Paper, 15%

Sunday, 2011 February 6

Final First Draft


Abstract

The culture of India is very unique and goes back thousands of years. In this essay, I will focus only on modern India, particularly on Mohandus K. Gandhi’s influence on the formation of the 20th century Indian government and culture, but also on religion and language. However, I will be ignoring movies, music, and postsecondary education.

Additionally, I will list major American institutions, advice for Indian American parents and children immigrating to the United States, academic citations, and personal commentary.

Finally, I will include a lot of relevant metrics, subjective summarizations, and statistics.

Note: I did not use proper A.P.A. style or proper citations in this paper.


India has both a rich cultural history spanning multiple millenniums, and is the 2nd most populated country on earth with a population of 1,155 million (C1), trailing China’s population of 1,331 million but leading the 3rd most populated country on earth by a whopping 275% — the United States, which has 308 million people. (All statistics as of 2009.)

However, many people in India are very poor and under-nourished, lacking proper food, water, shelter, infrastructure, education, and job opportunities. Despite this, many world leaders and scientists hail from India, and extrapolating the previous 90 years over the remaining 90 years of the 21st century, it is safe to say that India and China will surpass the United States in planetary dominance. The Indian people are some of the most hard-working and resolved people in the world, much like the Americans were in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

On 1869 October 2, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born in Porbander in modern-day Gujarat, where his father served in the Indian government under the rule of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (now the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as of 1927 and commonly known as the U.K.), of which the Indian portion was called the British Indian Empire (commonly known as the British Raj). Gandhi married at 13, had a son at 19, and left for London to pursue a law degree several months later. After enrolling in the High Court of London in 1891, he dropped out and went back to India. (www.sscnet.ucla.edu)

After failing his law practice, Gandhi spent 22 years in South Africa, where he declared himself a seeker of truth attained by love and celibacy. He also invented the term satyagraha to mean non-violent resistance, and he wrote a short treatise called “Indian Home Rule” subtly denouncing the United Kingdom, industrialization, and contemporary technology in general.

Gandhi’s first political campaign in India spanned 1915 to 1922, when he earned the title of Mahatma meaning “Great Soul” for initiating a movement of peaceful, non-violent, non-cooperation with the British government, which wielded great power but inferior numbers. When a large crowd killed many Indian policemen at Chauri Chaura in the United Provinces in February of 1922, Gandhi was arrested, convicted of sedition, and sentenced to six years by the British Raj, despite delivering a powerful self-defense and indictment of Great Britain at his trial.

Gandhi was released three years early due to poor health, after fasting three weeks in 1924 to stop Hindu-Muslim riots at Kohat. In 1932, he began his Fast unto Death to destroy the caste system which prevented people of the untouchable caste from marrying, doing business with, or associating with anyone outside their caste, and vice-versa. He also wanted the government to do away with separate electorates for the untouchables and the other castes, which angered Ambedkar, the leader of the untouchables.

Before surviving his fast, Gandhi broke the salt laws in 1930, by marching to the sea with his followers from March 12 to April 5, and, upon completing the 240 mile march to Dandi, collecting natural salt from the Arabian Sea as a symbolic act of resistance to the British Raj—specifically, the British monopoly on the production and sale of salt. Britain arrested Gandhi and thousands of other Indians, but it was at this point that the government relented and agreed to hold a Round Table Conference in London with Gandhi to discuss liberating India. The negotiations led nowhere, and upon Gandhi’s return to India, he was arrested again.

Prior to the Salt Satyagraha, the Indian National Congress further angered Great Britain by raising their saffron-white-green tricolor flag and issuing the following Purna Swaraj (Declaration of Independence) at midnight on 1929 December 31:

We believe that it is the inalienable right of the Indian people, as of any other people, to have freedom and to enjoy the fruits of their toil and have the necessities of life, so that they may have full opportunities of growth. We believe also that if any government deprives a people of these rights and oppresses them the people have a further right to alter it or abolish it. The British government in India has not only deprived the Indian people of their freedom but has based itself on the exploitation of the masses, and has ruined India economically, politically, culturally and spiritually. We believe therefore, that India must sever the British connection and attain Purna Swaraj or complete independence.”

In his mid-60s in the mid-1930s, Gandhi established homestead in a remote village called Segaon (now Sevagram) with no power or water in the very center of India, refusing to return to Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad under a non-sovereign India. When Nazi Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Great Britain wanted to drag India into the war, but Gandhi correctly identified the hypocrisy in the U.K. claiming to fight a war for democracy while attempting to maintain dictatorial control over India. It was at this point that he launched his “Do or Die” and “Quit India” campaigns, the former being a message to the Indian people and the latter being a message to the British Empire, which ultimately succeeded with the Indian Independence Act of 1947, effective 1947 August 15. However, Gandhi considered himself a Hindu, Muslim, and Christian, not considering divergent religions to be mutually exclusive and wanting India to remain unpartitioned. This did not succeed, and India was divided into the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan on 1947 August 14 (now Pakistan and Bangladesh) and the secular Union of India on 1947 August 15 (now the Republic of India), mainly to separate the Muslims from the Hindus and Sikhs. Immediately following the partition, 7.226 million Muslims fled India into Pakistan and 7.249 Hindus and Sikhs fled Pakistan into India to avoid being religious minorities.

While there have been many skirmishes fought between India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Burma (now known as Myanmar and in perpetual martial law since 1962), there can be no doubt that Mahatma Gandhi had a major influence on the liberation of India and was overall a positive force in the world and one of the principle contributors to modern Indian culture. His writing, newspapers, philosophy, demonstrations, and particularly his autobiography, The Story of My Experiments with Truth, and his quote, “be the change you want to see in the world” will be remembered for centuries to come.

The Volusia County statistics on FedStats only include Whites, Blacks, American Indian and Alaska Natives, Asians, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders, and Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin. There are no statistics for Indian Americans. The U.S. Census Bureau reported on July 1, 1999 that the State of Florida contains an estimated 60,358 people of American Indian and Alaska Native origin, but it is unclear if this includes Indian Americans. Both the United States and Florida governments provide no information with regard to Indian Americans, because they recognize only the aforementioned six races. Notably, searching Google for “Indian American” without quotation marks returns only results regarding American Indians (Native Americans) on the first page. However, the Embassy of India in Washington, D.C. considers a Non-resident Indian (NRI) or Person of Indian Origin (PIO) to be anyone who has left India up to four generations removed. The Embassy says there are over 24 million such people, with 2,765,815 residing in the United States as of 2008.

A child immigrating from India would have to learn the English language and place a lesser focus on academics and memorization to thrive in the typical, interdisciplinary American classroom which includes recess, physical education, fewer students, mathematical calculators, and more artistic and creative assignments. While Indians and Asians are known for their strong work ethic and high intellectual intelligence, they may lack the emotional intelligence of their American peers. However, as with any skill, this can be learned or compensated for.

To accommodate Indian Americans, principals should hire more teachers who know Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya, Punjabi, and other widely-spoken Indian languages. Similarly, the federal or state governments should provide grants or matching funds to purchase computerized translation devices or hire interpreters for Indian American students. At the same time, Indian American parents should make a concerted effort to learn American English fluently so they can communicate multi-linguistically with their children.

Finally, Indian Americans should be educated about United States heritage and history including the Constitution, our founding fathers, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, our conquest of the central North American continent, Alaska, Hawaii, Pearl Harbor, the atomic bomb, the September 11th attacks, the presidents, executive orders, the Supreme Court, Congress, the IRS, CIA, FBI, DHS, and TSA, state sovereignty, federal holidays, the U.S. Postal Service, baseball, apple pie, Puritanism, Protestantism and Catholicism as contrasted with Hinduism, Islam, and other religions in India, our relationship with Israel, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom, OPEC, the European Union, and other governments, our status as a global economic and military power, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon, the Federal Reserve System, Harvard University, New York City, San Fransisco, Atlanta, Daytona Beach, the de-industrialization of the United States in the late 20th century, our dependence on China, and our contributions to all major fields of study including, but not limited to, the arts, music, sciences, medicine, pharmacology, military science, political science, and environmentalism. Particularly with the rise of not only the Internet, cell phones, Google, and Facebook, we live in a global, virtually interconnected world which facilitates the bidirectional sharing of information between nations, institutions, and individuals in multiple formats on a historically unprecedented scale.


Citations

C1: Population of India: 1,155,347,678 as of 2009 according to the World Bank’s Book of World Development Indicators.

C2: Volusia County MapStats from FedStats: http://www.fedstats.gov/qf/states/12/12127.html

C3: Paragraph 7 of the Citizenship Amendment Act of 2003: http://www.indianembassy.org/consular/Overseas_Citizen/para7.htm

C4: 2000 U.S. Census: States Ranked by American Indian and Alaska Native Population, July 1, 1999: http://www.census.gov/population/estimates/state/rank/aiea.txt

C5: The Constitution of India, Revised 2008 July 29: http://lawmin.nic.in/coi/coiason29july08.pdf


References

http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/southasia/History/Gandhi/gandhi.html

http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1998/3/98.03.05.x.html

http://www.unc.edu/~mumukshu/gandhi/

http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/kingweb/about_king/encyclopedia/gandhi.htm

http://www.acm.edu/programs/5/india/index.html

http://www.irc.caltech.edu/p-281-business-with-india.aspx

http://web1.johnshopkins.edu/aidjhu/?p=94


Forward:

I decided to write my cultural paper about the people and government of India, including Indian Americans and with a major focus on the contributions of Mohandas Gandhi to Indian and global culture, independence, and philosophy. I haven’t learned APA style and I didn’t rewrite my essay or use citations, nor did I start it until 8pm before it was due, but I think it’s pretty good that I wrote a 2000 word essay in under 3 hours that doesn’t feel like (in my opinion), a bore to read.

You can find the full text of my paper here: http://daytonastate.org/files/edu/culture-20110205-india-thrippr.pdf

I think it’s very important for even elementary school teachers to have broad-spectrum knowledge of every major discipline, language, people, and culture, even if they never achieve mastery in any of them. Only then can they seamlessly flow from one topic to the next and present a complete picture of the world to their students in a way that is fascinating and inoffensive.

Spring 2011 Welcome Back, Jan. 26, 2011 [YouTube]

I have just been really slow posting, but I took this nice video at the welcome back two weeks ago. Instead of hosting it on my own server, I’ve decided to put it on YouTube because it’s easier and more people going there. Since posting it on YT 6 days ago, it’s received 2 views… that’s really awful, so please help to increase that and leave me some comments.

As for the DSC in Motion article, check it out on page 5. I wrote “DSC leads e-text initiative” in the Feb. 2011 issue, which the college printed 2000 copies of. It can be found in every major building on every campus. The cover has interim President Dr. Frank Lombardo with text “The search is on!”, because the college is looking for a new president to replace Dr. Kent Sharples. Frank wants to retire because he’s 74, but I think we should remind him that Pope Benedict XIV became pope at 78, so he has plenty of good years left. If he still wants to retire, I think the college should promote the next president from within.

http://www.youtube.com/richardxthripp
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egQGXL_WG-E

President Frank Lombardo’s Message, 2011-01-05

Dr. Frank Lombardo’s message at the theater at Daytona State College on Wed., Jan. 5, 2011 at 1pm. I got lumped in with the international students because I was sitting next to Bruno Blazevic, so I told the president that I’m from China and Ireland because my mom is Chinese and my great grandfather immigrated from Ireland. We were in the front row and got a standing ovation from all the faculty and staff, though I wasn’t supposed to be there. It was fun and they used Star Wars and Star Trek music in the presentation! Daytona State College is growing at an unbelievable pace and I am looking forward to getting my Bachelor of Science degree here.

I have made this album public on Facebook, but you must log in to Facebook to see the photos. Please go there to tag people or read my comments on individual photos. I know some people don’t want to use Facebook, but I think it’s the best social networking tool, if only because of market penetration. 80% of my friends are on Facebook.

While former president Dr. Kent Sharples wasn’t mentioned much, Dr. Lombardo did say that he led the college through an incredible period of growth and that he was very good at getting things done. Dr. Lombardo hopes to be out of a job by July 2011, because he hopes the agency the college has hired for $65,000 will have found the next president by May, and then it will take about two months to train him or her.

Dr. Lombardo can be first seen in the 9th and 10th photos below. There are 71 photos divided into pages of 30, so make sure to click the next page links at the bottom. The man at the podium is Evan Rivers, Chair of Humanities & Communications, the largest Daytona State School including English, literature, and history.

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Phi Theta Kappa Monday Funday, 2010-12-06

This was a fun event organized by Nikki Sfraga, current president of Phi Theta Kappa, at Daytona State College on Monday, December 6, 2010. From 11 A.M. to 2 P.M. we had free food, music, dancing, and games in and around the clock tower at the Daytona Beach campus.

The free food included hot dogs, popcorn, cotton candy, nachos with cheese, hot chocolate, and bottled water. There was an inflatable basketball hoop and a dance contest. I enjoyed this a lot and hope we do this next year!

Below are 244 photos I took at the event. I installed a new gallery plugin which makes posting photos easier, so this is a different format from most of my posts and because of the large number of photos, I am not making the ten-megapixel high-resolution versions available to download.

You can just browse through the thumbnails and click one to enlarge, or click “View with PicLens” below for an interactive display that you can enlarge to full-screen or browse through with your keyboard’s arrow keys. Please make sure you have JavaScript and Adobe Flash enabled.

Enjoy the photos. 🙂

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Pending Updates

I actually have a lot of updates to post soon, but I’ve been busy helping friends with studying so I haven’t had time to post them. By Dec. 21, I will post:

* 244 photos from Phi Theta Kappa’s Monday Funday, Mon., Dec. 6, 2010
* Over an hour of video from the concert at the clock tower on Tue., Dec. 7, 2010
* Photos from the Rotary Int’l. meeting at DB Int’l. Airport including Miss India ’06, Thu., Dec. 9, 2010
* Photos of Claire Metz, WESH 2 reporter, Thu., Dec. 9, 2010
* Photos and video of Prof. Jessica Kester’s students’ poetry and prose recital, Thu., Dec. 9, 2010
* Photos and video of the Global Friends ballroom dance lesson, Fri., Dec. 10, 2010

Please check back in a week or two and good luck with your final exams at Daytona State College this week! Since I took only Fall A classes this semester, I have no finals, just parties. 😀

Introducing Falconmail.me

Falconmail.me was not renewed and no longer works as of 2011-11-30.

I’m introducing a new email forwarding service called Falconmail.me which allows you to share an email address that is 14 characters shorter than Daytona State College’s standard @falconmail.daytonastate.edu student email addresses.

How it works

My email is richard_thripp@falconmail.daytonastate.edu, but if I give out the email address richard_thripp@falconmail.me, email sent to the Falconmail.me address will be directly forwarded to the falconmail.daytonastate.edu by the host.thripp.com mailserver. Then, if you’ve set your Daytona State College email address to forward to your own account (i.e. Gmail or Hotmail), DSC will forward it to you, so the message will be forwarded twice.

I’ve tested this, and it works perfectly for me. I’ve set my server to just forward all email sent to Falconmail.me to falconmail.daytonastate.edu. The only danger is if the Daytona State IT department decides to block Falconmail.me, the forwarding will immediately cease to work. I encourage them not to do this but instead use their own spam filtering, and I may add spam filtering to Falconmail.me in the future. I am also willing to transfer the domain to the college if they will actually use it.

Falconmail.me was not renewed and no longer works as of 2011-11-30.

If you are a DSC student, you have an email in the format firstname_lastname@falconmail.daytonastate.edu, so you can immediately begin sharing firstname_lastname@falconmail.me with people to save them some typing. Falconmail.me, DaytonaState.org, and Thripp.com are hosted on a WiredTree Hybrid Dedicated server with over 99.9% uptime, so no emails should be lost.

I will be keeping no records whatsoever of any emails forwarded through Falconmail.me. I set up a domain-level forwarder in cPanel and I have no interest in collecting personal data. I just saw that the Falconmail.me domain was unregistered and I thought it would make a cool service.

.me is a new top-level domain introduced in 2007 for the country of Montenegro, but it is being marketed as a multinational domain for self-identification. This means you can use Falconmail as a verb and say “Falconmail me” to your friends, and the phrase matches the domain.

Enjoy your new Falconmail.me forwarding email address!

Falconmail.me was not renewed and no longer works as of 2011-11-30.

Kent Sharples Ousted with $1.2 Million Severance Package

Kent Sharples and Bruce Cook, Spring 2008

In September 2010, Daytona State President Kent Sharples lent nearly $1.5 million to the Community Cultural Foundation for the “American Music Festival,” with approval of the previous Board of Trustees. The festival was a money-loser and the foundation owes hundreds of thousands of dollars to many local businesses in addition to the college, which has now cut ties with both the Foundation and Sharples, and the new board ousted Sharples.

Sharples’ attorney negotiated a $1.2 million severance package for the retiring president and he will also be receiving over $0.5 million in accrued benefits. This puts his entire package at six years salary at his current rate of $290,000.

In other news, Vice President Rand Spiwak is retiring in January and Frank Lombardo, Acdemics VP, is becoming the Interim President on Monday, Nov. 22, 2010. Sharples’ last day as president is Friday, Nov. 19.

READER COMMENT BY DONALD ON THE DAYTONA SUN:

“We lost a builder for education and a true force of growth in our community with Kent Sharples resignation from Daytona State College. When will we receive the resignation of Ms Hosseini and her blonde puppet, Ms Haas? Maybe the pocket stuffer of our former Governor…Mori Hosseini will text them with instructions!”

I think it’s disgraceful that Forough Hosseini has led this crusade against Sharples for no good reason, and to much negative publicity. If he remains president, he won’t be able to do anything anyway, since she basically owns the Board of Trustees. Under Sharples’ 11-year tenure, the college has seen unprecedented growth. I sincerely hope this growth continues under Lombardo and the future DSC president.

Sources:
2010-11-18: DAYTONA SUN: Sharples Out
2010-11-18: DAYTONA BEACH NEWS-JOURNAL: Sharples out as Daytona State president; $1.2 million buyout
2010-11-11: DAYTONA BEACH NEWS-JOURNAL: Daytona State financial head retiring
2010-02-22: DAYTONA BEACH NEWS-JOURNAL: Forough Hosseini quits as college board chairman

Revised at 10:00pm EST, Nov. 19, 2010.

Daytona State College 2010 Talent Show: Photos & Videos

Photos from the Daytona State College 2010 Talent Show at the college theater, bldg. 220, Thu., Oct. 7, 2010, 6-8 PM.

This was the 2nd Annual Daytona State Talent Show and Pageant, held this year at the college theater instead of the News-Journal Center. This year’s show was presented by Student Government instead of Student Success. Read the 2010 Talent Show program here (PDF). Four performers returned from the 2009 Talent Show: Lillian Kinch, Jerred Mason, Farah Shaikh, and LaNae Wright.

Licensing: You can use these photos for any editorial purposes.

2010-10-07 Talent Show High-Res

Felipe Brasil and others in the audience, 5:55 PM.

2010-10-07 Talent Show High-Res

Prof. Elena Jarvis before the show started. She was one of the judges and is the advisor to DSC In Motion, the college newspaper. 6:04 PM.

2010-10-07 Talent Show High-Res

Jillian Chase singing a love song on guitar, 6:09 PM.

2010-10-07 Talent Show High-Res

The judges for this year’s show were Warnell A. Vickers, Elena Jarvis, Bruce Cook, Jessica Kester, and Robert Grimm, from left to right. 6:10 PM.

2010-10-07 Talent Show High-Res

Brittany taking photos for DSC in Motion. On the left is Farhana “Farah” Shaikh, who performed a dance later but is uncredited in the program. 6:10 PM.

2010-10-07 Talent Show High-Res

Preston Johnston and Marina Lins introducing the 2nd contestant, 6:13 PM.

2010-10-07 Talent Show High-Res

Daniel Lucero singing a free flowing poem about life and relationships. 6:15 PM.

2010-10-07 Talent Show High-Res

Cornelius Simmons performing a loud rap piece, 6:19 PM.

2010-10-07 Talent Show High-Res

Massiel Rodriguez Leon, Gabriela Figuroa, William Ernesto Montes, and Reina Catu performing an international dance, 6:23 PM.

2010-10-07 Talent Show High-Res

Vernon Solomon singing a love song on the guitar, accompanied on the piano by Matt Elam. He won the Talent Show. 6:26 PM.

2010-10-07 Talent Show High-Res

Brittany taking another photo with her Canon EOS 7D, 6:39 PM.

2010-10-07 Talent Show High-Res

LaNae Wright performing a dance, as the first act of the Mr. and Ms. Daytona State pageant. I voted for her. 6:40 PM.

2010-10-07 Talent Show High-Res

Sarah Bebergal singing. I think this is called “Nothing,” and it’s about a girl trying to become an actress. 6:44 PM.

2010-10-07 Talent Show High-Res

Gerard Minnis singing, 6:49 PM.

2010-10-07 Talent Show

Kristy McLarnan performing a dance, 6:53 PM.

2010-10-07 Talent Show High-Res

Ashley Lumpkin singing, while I am wondering if that is her natural hair color. 6:56 PM.

2010-10-07 Talent Show High-Res

Francis “JR” Houston preparing to sing an old Christian song. I voted for him. 7:00 PM.

2010-10-07 Talent Show High-Res

Stacey Taylor performing a dance, 7:04 PM.

2010-10-07 Talent Show High-Res

The judges, quietly judging. I have a crush on Jessica, but like all faculty she is married. She is an Assistant Professor of English just like my aunt, and my aunt’s daughter’s name is also Jessica, which is really weird if you think about it. 7:06 PM.

2010-10-07 Talent Show High-Res

Lillian Kinch singing, 7:12 PM.

2010-10-07 Talent Show High-Res

Jerred Mason, the winner of Mr. Daytona State 2009 and 2010, reciting his poem, “This is How I Am.” He should NOT have been allowed to run again, but instead should have passed the crown to his successor. In fact, it was never stated that he was the CURRENT Mr. Daytona State, which was a definite oversight. Jerred made the same speech last year, and will be receiving another gym membership and $500 scholarship this year. 7:15 PM.

2010-10-07 Talent Show High-Res

The other contestants observing as Jerred is crowned again. 7:55 PM.

2010-10-07 Talent Show High-Res

Jerred T. Mason is re-elected as Mr. Daytona State. 7:55 PM.

2010-10-07 Talent Show High-Res

I meant to cheer up J.R. but did not get around to it. 7:56 PM.

2010-10-07 Talent Show High-Res

Nicole R. Brown, incumbent President of the Daytona State College Student Government Association, smiling as always, after giving the Ms. Daytona State award to Stacey Taylor, who will also be receiving a gym membership and $500 scholarship. Vernon Solomon won first place in the non-pageant portion of the talent show, which merits no scholarship. 7:57 PM.

2010-10-07 Talent Show High-Res

Backstage with Farah, Massiel, and Reina, 8:17 PM.

2010-10-07 Talent Show High-Res

Massiel, Reina, Farah, and William, 8:18 PM.

2010-10-07 Talent Show High-Res

Farah was the most beautiful girl in the entire theater ♥. 8:25 PM.

VIDEOS

This year, I shot 16 video clips which total 1:01:28 using my new Samsung SMX-F40BN/XXA digital camcorder on a 16GB SDHC memory card. At the end, the battery was down to 1/4 capacity, which means the battery is really crappy because it should last much longer. I charged it right before the show.

Farah took me to the show specifically to film her, which is why I have no photos of her performance. I did not find anyone to take pictures for me and I couldn’t do both at the same time. I ended up filming most of the acts. I wish I would have filmed the whole show and I should have bought an extra battery a week before.

Unlike last year, these videos are in widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio with stereo sound. I have resized the FLV files below to 480×272 pixels. Optimal playback requires Adobe Flash Player 9 and a sustained downstream connection of at least 768Kbps (i.e. AT&T DSL Lite).

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Jillian Chase singling and playing the guitar. [0:23]

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Daniel Lucero singing a free flowing poem about life and relationships. [3:36]

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Massiel Rodriguez Leon, Gabriela Figuroa, William Ernesto Montes, and Reina Catu performing an international dance. [2:34]

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Vernon Solomon singing a love song on the guitar, accompanied on the piano by Matt Elam. He won the Talent Show. [5:12]

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

The band, led by Michael Cummings, performing a Pink Floyd song. [5:36]

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

LaNae Wright performing a dance, as the first act of the Mr. and Ms. Daytona State pageant. She was accompanied by Gerard Minnis singing Amazing Grace. [1:47]

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Sarah Bebergal singing. I think this is called “Nothing,” and it’s about a girl trying to become an actress. [2:15]

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Gerard Minnis singing. He was runner-up for Mr. Daytona State. [3:28]

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

The last 25 seconds of Ashley Lumpkin’s performance. I should have recorded her whole song. [0:25]

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Francis “JR” Houston singing. I did not know he has a good singing voice. [3:03]

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Jerred Mason, the winner of Mr. Daytona State 2009 AND 2010, reciting his poem, “This is How I Am.” [1:53]

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Long segment waiting for something to happen. Skip ahead to 1:30 to see LaNae Wright’s interview.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

The rest of the pageant interviews after LaNae Wright. I voted for J.R. and LaNae. [8:31]

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

The talent show concluded with the band playing two Pink Floyd songs including “Brick in the Wall,” Bruce Cook’s closing notes, and the awards. [14:13]

CONCLUSION

It was a good show, but the audience was only about 200, compared to 460 last year. The News-Journal Center would have been better, but someone had already booked it. The performances were all good, but it was a shame Dr. Carole Luby and Michelle Moll were not involved, as they would have done more preparation. Nicole has too much on her plate, and it showed as the MCs got confused several times throughout the show. SGA did not successfully promote this show so very few students knew about it.

Awarding Jerred Mason the Mr. Daytona State crown two years in a row was outrageous, but he did get the most votes from the audience so it was legitimate in that respect. However, I really hope someone else wins next year.

My favorite acts were Daniel Lucero, Vernon Solomon, and Sarah Bebergal, but everyone was competent.

In the future, I would like to see the judges actually judge the performers after each performance, like on American Idol.

Short link to this post: daytonastate.org/ts10

Fall 2010 Award Disbursement

Daytona State College began disbursing scholarship refunds to the debit cards of college students yesterday, Sept. 24, 2010. If you don’t receive yours in the next two weeks, make sure to contact the office of student accounts.

Even students without scholarship or academic merit can receive a refund. The federal Pell provides most students with $694 per 3-credit class, and with Daytona State’s tuition costing $375 per class or less, this will result in windfalls of hundreds or thousands of dollars per semester for many students.

For a program that is completely unconstitutional, the Pell grant consumes a large portion of the Federal budget. While it cost a mere $16 billion dollars in 2008-2009, for the 2009-2010 school year the cost was $25.4 billion, and thanks to Obama, it is projected to cost $27.5 billion this fiscal year, granting an average of $3000 to over 8 million students. This wealth redistribution scheme is great news for students but bad news for job-seekers and the economy (an AA degree is becoming as common as dirt).

Note that if one of your parents died serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, you should receive a $2750 Pell grant this semester and next regardless of your eligibility or course load. Even though you are grieving, make sure you get your deserved award. If both your parents died in the line of duty, ask for even more money.

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