December 2012 Archives

OH Christmas Tree...Oh Christmas Tree...

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Christmas Trees.jpg

DailyRandomFacts.com December 24, 2011

 

            Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday. Hands down. The cheer and spirit that fills the air from December 1st through New Year's Day is amazing. Everyone is joyful and just soaking up every minute of the special time of year. I can't wait to be home by my fireplace having a warm cup of hot chocolate and watching classic Christmas movies with my family. But there is one important item I need every year or else it's just not Christmas to me.

 

            Of course it's a Christmas tree. A REAL one I may add. Personally, I don't like artificial Christmas trees. It's just not what I grew up with, so it's just not Christmas to me if there's an artificial tree in my living room. Every year, I insist we get a real tree for our house. And a fun little tidbit I just learned is that apparently that tree is one of a half a billion Christmas trees growing in United States on tree farms. That's crazy to think about! Half a billion Christmas trees are growing each year on tree farms across the United States. That doesn't even include Chestnut, Oak, Cedar, or any other type of tree growing on tree farms in the U.S. Just Christmas trees. That's a lot of trees!

 

            Every year a tree makes its way into my house, and every year my family and I decorate every single branch front and back of the tree. Christmas trees have a special place in my heart. It's where many memories every year are made. I have never thought about where the tree had been before my house, or how many Christmas trees are growing each year. This year is slightly different for my family, since I am away at college. But just like those trees and this year's tree make it to my house each year, I will be home in no time to celebrate the season of love and joy with my family.

 

            I hope everyone has an amazing and memorable Christmas. Whether your Christmas tree is real or not, cherish the people around you and the time you have with them.

 

            Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Don't Win The Argument, Win The Battle!

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            Everyone learns to argue at a young age. Children in preschool argue over toys and having to share "their" toys such as:

 

"I want that toy!"

"No it's mine. I had it first!"

"No I did!"

 

            However, as we grow up, arguments can become more heated. Arguments also do not always have an easy solution as in preschool. It's not always as simple as one child plays with a toy for an hour and then the other child gets the toy.

 

            One day I was reading Thank You For Arguing by Jay Heinrichs and came across an important passage.

 

"To win a deliberative argument, don't try to outscore your opponent.

Try instead to get you way." (19)

 

            This passage really stuck with me. I don't need to defeat my opponent completely by embarrassing him or her, so they finally concede. All I need to do is get them to give in to my beliefs by the end of the argument. Since the passage was in the second chapter of the book, I was able to apply it to my writing for the rest of the semester, especially the rebuttal paper.

 

The rebuttal paper was a challenging paper. I couldn't simply talk about why my opponent was wrong and how strongly I disagreed with her point of view. Instead, I had to respect her side, but still show why I thought it was wrong; in an appropriate and respectful way though. I couldn't simply write, you idiot, what are you thinking. No, I had to show my side to try to get my own way which is convincing my opponent to concede to my idea. As Heinrichs states, "People often win arguments on points, only to lose the battle" (19). The goal for my paper was to convince my opponent to act on my beliefs. I didn't want to win the argument for the sake of winning. I wanted to win the battle, to make my beliefs present in my high school for the benefit of the current students. With more knowledge of arguing, it is possible for anyone to get his or her way.

 

            The passage also made me ponder what exactly was a "deliberate argument." After looking the in Appendix II, I found that it is an "argument made about choices" (298). Many arguments are about choices; where to eat, what movie to watch, where to go on vacation. In my rebuttal paper, there were choices. There were choices of whether to keep a new school policy or to return to the old policy. I was arguing one of the choices while my opponent agued the other choice. It was a deliberate argument where I thought my choice was the proper choice. However, I needed to remember to win the battle and not the argument.

 

            There are many little helpful tidbits in Thank You For Arguing. It has helped me with my writing this year and made me a better arguer. Just remember, try to get your way, not score the most points.

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