I was going back through old files on my computer because I save EVERYTHING (even that birthday card for Mom I made in Printshop back when people still made cards with Printshop). I adore reading essay I wrote in high school, and angry letter I would write to people and never send, or song lyrics that I wanted to save, emails people had sent me that I keep to put a smile on my face, and late night AIM conversations with cute boys or girlfriends. I love reading all that. So tonight I feel upon three things I would like to share. My London experience, a college application essay, and a 12th grade creative writing assignment.
1) I decided to post all my emails from the summer of ’05 when I studied abroad in London. Enjoy http://jennyslondonlog.blogspot.com/
2) When I applied to U of M (the second time around) I was very determined to get in. I don’t understand this now. Looking back, MSU was a perfect fit like a couture red carpet dress, but probably a lot easier to breathe in. Anyway, I wanted to wow them with my progressive ideas and outside-the-box philosophies on the US. So I attacked this question with something that was very near and dear to me. Illegal downloading, which in 2004, was in the midst of randomly prosecuting teens that were furiously downloading Dave Matthews and Jay-Z. We all know in the back of our mind we were afraid the RIAA was going to knock on our dorm door, hand cuff us to our futon, take our computer and throw it out the window. It was the first thing I found myself passionate about. Here we have it.
Discuss an issue of local, national, or international concern. Why is this issue important to you? How would you resolve it? What impact would its resolution have on others?
Internet piracy is an issue whose importance is many times overlooked by people. There are issues, such as terrorism and discrimination, which are clearly more important to the safety of the country. I am not one to downgrade the significance and anxiety of these issues. But to many Americans, no matter their age, ethnicity, or income, music makes just as much of an impact on their life as terrorism or discrimination, but in a positive way. In the past 5 years, the government has found that people all over the world are downloading music and movies free off the internet from peer-to-peer file sharing products. Popular artists saw this as a threat to sales of their CDs, while independent bands saw this as an opportunity to expand their fan base.
How would I resolve this conflict? I wouldn’t. I believe people should be able to download music free. Free peer-to-peer file sharing programs such as Kazaa and LimeWire give independent bands a gateway to the public. I learned about one band in particular, Dispatch, who owes much of their success to these programs. Their popularity did not reach the radio air waves, yet they still had sold out concerts in cities they had never been to before. How? Fans would learn about them through word of mouth, then explore their website, and download their songs from the internet. There have also been polls and surveys taken that show that most people that use peer-to-peer file sharing still buy many CDs. They download songs from the internet of artists they hear about and, if they like what they hear, they will go out and buy the CD. Consumers understand the economics of it. They understand that artist receive a percentage of the profit from album sales. They will buy the CD of artists they want to support. I can attest to doing the same myself.
I think if the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the US government stepped back and allowed peer-to-peer file sharing to control the music industry, they would see a new wave of musical popularity. My theory is as follows. Artists’ concerns over illegal downloading have developed from their concern over their profits. I don’t believe that artists should think about the money, but the success of allowing people that may not be wealthy enough to purchase CDs to listen to their music. If artists saw this, music would not be a job or career, but a passion. This would increase the quality of music to songs that artists write and play from their hearts. Their focus would not be on profits but on having an impact on listeners. The government, RIAA, and other supporters of a ban on peer-to-peer file sharing only see the industrial problems of the programs, but they are looking superficially at the issue, instead of the potential for a shift in the goal of music.
Unfortunately, UofM was too busy accepting 8% Indian teens and Jewish German students to “increase students experiences” to take on my theory. I like to think I was just too advanced for them. And too white.
3) This is the best thing I have ever written. Not the most sophisticated or deep or flowing, but the best. We had to write an exaggerated profile about someone we know. I chose the most exaggerated person I know, one I didn’t really need to stretch the truth on. My sister, Andrea.
Caricature of My Sister
If you were a fly on the wall of our house during dinner, you would most likely become very confused, thinking you have flown into a classic Jim Carey movie. It starts out relatively civil. My mom calls us down to dinner. I tear myself away from the computer and walk downstairs. My dad and I wait patiently for my sister to come down, and wait, and wait, and wait. She always has to make an entrance. She waits until her presences will be seen by everyone, irritated or not.
Suddenly we hear the toilet flush and a blood-curling scream. Andrea comes hurdling down the stairs and into the kitchen, soaked and disheveled. Looking like a dog after an unwilling bath she exclaims, “Had I been drinking out of the toilet, I would have been killed!” I, personally, can’t contain myself when she does her impromptu performances and I have tears streaming down my face. After a few minutes, my mom forces a straight face and tells her to march right upstairs and change. Ann responds with an “Allllrighty then!” and walks back up, snickering over her successful little recital. Somehow, my parents lecturing over her crazy behavior never faze her.
By the end of dinner she has effectively made me fall out of my chair… twice, made my dad cry of laughter, and had my mom laughing like Phyllis Diller. It’s always a fun night when a Telemarketer calls. My dad always hands the phone to Ann when they request to speak to the homeowner. Tonight it must be a carpet cleaning companies because I can hear her in the family room terrorizing the poor person on the other end of the receiver, “Can you get out blood? Can you get out GOAT blood? How about HUMAN blood?” Then she does her little victory dance around the table when they hang up on her. For petrifying the Telemarketer, my mom tells her do the dishes. To that Andrea says, “Your request is not unlike that of your lower intestines, stinky and loaded with danger.” After one more stab at getting out of the dishes, we all glare at her and she exits stage left sputtering like Daffy Duck, “Well then, this is nice room of DEATH.” I don’t know anyone else that can fit a line from “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” so casually into her conversations.
You can tell by now that my 13 year old sister, Andrea, is going to be then next big thing to hit Hollywood. Her role model is Jim Carey. She has perfected every line from “Dumb and Dumber”, “Ace Ventura”, and “The Mask”. Every crazy, seemingly non-feasible, facial expression of his comes second nature to her. And if she doesn’t make it to the glitz and glamour
of the movies, her second string dream is to be a regular on the primetime comedy skit show “Saturday Night Live”. She has a knack for entertaining people. Sometime she doesn’t even realize she is doing it. For example, one morning I went to wake her up because her alarm had been going off for ten minutes and there was no sign of significant life coming from her room. I walk upstairs and see her standing in front of her dresser staring blankly at her alarm as it blares on. I stumble in, laughing hysterically, and ask what in the world she is doing. The only response I get is, “It just blinked at me.”
She isn’t much of a morning person. She doesn’t fully function until she comes home from school at 3 o’clock and you can’t expect much to come out of her mouth anytime before noon. So she spends the rest of the day catching up and you can’t shut her up until 7 o’clock the next morning. She even talks in her sleep! She talks to anyone who will listen and do anything for an audience. She once had a spirited debate with a mannequin in the women’s department of “Marshall Fields” over fabric softener. She successfully gained the applause of half of the department. Yes, she is still my annoying little sister, but she’s always good for a few laughs.