Poetry Through Specific Eyes

Posted by Kunal Patel

“A poem begins in delight, it inclines to the impulse, it assumes a direction with the first line laid down, it runs a course of lucky events, and ends in a clarification of life – not necessarily a great clarification, such as sects and cults are founded on, but in a momentary stay against confusion.”

-Robert Frost

Robert Frost’s definition of poetry portrays poetry for what it really is. Poetry is simply a verse that undergoes certain complex stages, in end coming to a conclusion. Personally, this stands to be quite accurate. As a poem commences there is a sensation in which one is put through an enjoyable and enchanting emotion, despite the grimness of the poem. Just reading the diction in those first couple of lines forces such relaxation as poetry is written to unravel the mind. The assumption of the meaning of a poem upon the reading it for the first line stands to be a habit most scholars cannot get rid of, as poetry, right from the very get go sends out a message ultimately revealing a tone as well. Throughout poetry, there seems to be a common occurrence in which the poem runs a course of “lucky events” according to Robert Frost. Yes, this stands to be truth, but what most fail to realize is that these “lucky events” can also be dreadful events at the same time. Lucky is defined as something “fortunate,” although in poetry it is seen that lucky events often foreshadow a downfall, a sharp one at best, ending in what we call life’s greatest lesson. As mentioned by Robert Frost, poetry may not clearly lead you the way to life’s answer to an age old question, but it can certainly show a truer meaning. The idea of enjoying a poem that takes you on a journey or a set of emotions has always grappled me; Robert Frost’s definition elicits that idea exponentially, showing that in the end a moral is hopefully drawn out, pertaining to life or its mystery’s.


Inaguration Reflection (Written on 9/20/09)

Posted by Kunal Patel
January 20, 2009, the face of America has changed today. Waking up this morning felt like waking up to a new day, a new country, and a new world. The day started off with a media blitz with every possible media outlet covering the historic event in their own respective ways. Words could not describe the moments that followed after the introduction of President Obama; a surreal moment which I will never forget for the rest of my life.
I can’t stress enough how fortunate I am to be able to witness history not only as a person but as a journalist. It’s completely different watching the inauguration in a journalistic standpoint as I tend to be more critical on many aspects and examine things that aren’t usually looked at. This, all in all is great in the sense that I am able to get so much more out of the historic event then the norm. It was truly interesting watching different media outlets cover the occasion as they had unique ways of doing so. I, myself, primarily focused on CNN, who did an amazing job in covering the event as they had interactive tickers, schedules, and maps that allowed viewers to easily keep track of the myriad of events that ensued.
During the moments that President Obama was sworn in, shots of 1.5 million people standing on all corners of the Capitol in the frigid temperatures startled me. Just the size of this event is nothing short of shocking, as it was officially labeled as the largest gathering of viewers on television.
I truly feel proud to be an American at this point in my life; for once I can say that there is hope that this country will be alright, things will prosper, and renewal will be made. President Obama’s words seem to not only comfort me but people of America as well. He is a man of confidence, just what a country needs in the time of need. During the inauguration ceremony, President Obama’s ability to show how he’s just a common man won my respect in many ways. He was able to come out of his state of the art limo during the parade to wave and greet the millions of fans that had lined up along Pennsylvania Ave for hours if not days, showing that he was not afraid of any threats, showing one of the many truly excellent qualities our president possess.
Although not Obama’s most memorable speech, the president presented an excellent inaugural speech in a subtle tone giving confidence to the American people and thanking them for the efforts. His ability to put words together so fluently proves to be a brilliant characteristic that had helped him largely in being elected president. It will be interesting having a president that knows what he’s talking about.
Again, I can’t put into words how grateful I am to being to witness history in the making, watching the first African-American president being sworn in as president. It is such a relief to watch a wonderful first family walk into the White House, especially knowing that there is now a commander-in-chief by the name of Barack Obama sitting in the Oval office. I wish the President great success in the years to come and hope for the best. He truly deserves it, after accomplishing such a lifelong dream.


Layoffs Anyone? Calamity Ensues

Posted by Kunal Patel

With the largest population of students in a schooling system, the New York City Board of Education would face massive drawbacks in the event of a budget cutback. The fiscal mess on Wall Street or better known as the disastrous rolling bolder may soon crush what’s most important to many students, their education.

The economy has gotten to a point where massive budget cuts are unavoidable. Unfortunately, the Mayor plans to make major cuts in the department of education, possibly signing layoffs to an estimated 15,000 of the district's 80,000 NYC public school teachers, according to the online.wsj.com.

Let’s face it, the absence 15,000 teachers would prove to have devastating effects on the schooling system.

“Schools could not open if it were to happen,” expressed Newtown High School Principal John Ficalora. Although, he remained pensive towards the idea of teachers being laid off feeling as though such a massive layoff could not follow through.

Newtown alone would be taking a huge hit as an estimated “50 teachers” would be laid off in an event of massive layoffs, noted Ficalora. This would evidently result in class sizes larger than they already are.

Shockingly, increased class sizes are the least of worries as the “ability to offer summer and night school” would be a difficult task in itself, according to Ficalora. This would be the last option Newtown would want to resort to as much of the student population relies heavily on night and summer school to graduate or complete failed courses.

The possibility of massive teacher layoffs could very well be “devastating to both our students and the people who work so hard to provide them with a quality education," noted Randi Weingarten, Teachers Union President.

Teachers would be laid off in a “seniority” fashion, which calls for newer teachers to get the boot first. Contrary to what most experienced teachers believe, there is basically no relationship between seniority and teaching ability. The idea that the DOE lays off teachers in this manner seems to be illogical as a study by the Urban Institute found that today's city public school hires have more attractive attributes, such as scoring higher on certification exams than the hires of old.

Since teacher salaries are based on a the number of years they have been in the classroom, it would be irrational to lay off teachers from the bottom up as more experienced teachers make more money. We are in need of money, by eliminating lower paid (less experienced) teachers opposed to higher paid (experienced) teachers, the city is essentially doing itself harm.

When asked to comment on the order of which teachers are laid off, Principal Ficalora failed to cooperative stating, “I only do what I am told to by the Chancellor.”

There’s not much that can be done at this point as the waiting game has begun. With stimulus package talk’s continuing, Teachers Union President Randi Weingarten felt that an economic stimulus package would save a great number of teachers. Layoffs must be prevented to maintain solid education quality in Department of Education.

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