Monday, January 30, 2012

Communications Capstone

This is my last post in regards to Communications Capstone class, but I will continue to keep this blog up. I will continue to write and focus my blog more on music, opinions, and anything else I feel like writing about. (Probably more about nature!) I must say I have really enjoyed the Capstone class and I have learned a lot. I have been able to tie in what I have learned from all of my previous classes in Communications and piece it together. It is apparent communications plays a vital role in our everyday lives. It keeps us connected and and is ever growing with the continued expanison of tools to utillize. From the interenet to cell phones, communication has come a long way.It is important to realize who the audience is, deliver the message with purpose and the way it was intended. Being able to communicate successfuly and effectively will help to make me more successful in my career. Thank you for reading my blog, and I hope some of you will continue to be a follower and we can stay connected!

Amanda Analla

Constructive Conflict Process

At some point in everyone's life, we will experience conflict. Conflict can occur between family members, friends, and coworkers. How people handle conflict is important because it can either make the situation better or it can make it worse. People can lose friendships, get fired, and cause tension with in the family. Another thing to note is that conflict is unavoidable. I think in some ways it can be beneficial because it teaches us to share viewpoints and be openminded with the individuals involved. It can make two people come together to come up with a solution that can satisfy everybody.

            Conflict is something that everybody deals with more than once in their lifetimes. Conflict is unavoidable and people need to feel more comfortable dealing with and confronting it. “Conflict arises from differences – it occurs whenever people disagree over their values and assumptions, motivations and perceptions, ideas and desires” (Pakita, 2011). There are many different ways to deal with conflict, but it is important to look at ways in which dealing with conflict can result in a positive way. The processes that can occur in the dynamics of conflict can have many different resolutions. The process I am going to focus on is the Constructive Conflict Process. This process consists of a series of five steps, and can help to successfully resolve conflict. (Abigail & Cahn, 2011) The five steps are: the prelude to conflict, the triggering event, the initiation phase, the differentiation phase, and the resolution phase. Through a personal experience I will explain how my conflict goes through these steps and is successfully resolved. I will be sharing with you a Constructive Conflict process and how I have been able to apply it to a conflict that I had with my sister.

Constructive Conflict Process

1.      The Prelude to Conflict: (make conflicts possible, by the relationship, the individuals involved as well as bystanders, and the environment)

My sister can sometimes appear to be selfish and ungrateful. For several months after I had moved to Madison, I would ask her to come visit me. My sister would state that she would visit me only if I paid for her gas money because she did not have enough to buy gas.  Once she got there she would always expect me to buy dinner or lunch for her. I was happy to have her visit me because I missed her a lot and we always had fun together. Sometimes my sister would want me to come visit her in Milwaukee and I would drive there and still have to pay for lunch or dinner.  The last time I was in Milwaukee I asked her to pay for dinner.

2.      Trigger: (behavior that creates, “the beginning of the problem”)

My sister than “sighed” and made a big deal about paying for the dinner, and then said, “Well you can pay me back!” When I heard this I began to see red and wanted to punch her in the face. (This was my thought, I would never do that). I just was so angry because I always paid for her lunch/dinner and would offer to pay for gas when she came to visit. My sister has never offered to pay for anything.

3.      Initiation: (when a person brings the problem/conflict up to the other to make them aware)

I then told my sister that I was upset and told her that I never made a comment like that before when I have paid for all of her meals and gas when she came to visit.

4.      Differentiation: (The ongoing interaction process in which both sides are brought up and explained through different tactics. They can be destructive/constructive or escalate/deescalate)

At this point my sister became defensive and stated that she did not know that I had felt that way. She pointed out that I had always offered to pay and never said anything to her about it. My sister also indicated that I have a job that pays better than her, and that she is struggling with money. I told her that it would be nice for her to offer once in a while.

5.      Resolution: (The end outcome in which both parties agree to with solution)

We both apologized to each other, and I told her that I should have told her earlier. My sister stated that she did not realize that I had felt this way and indicated that she was not trying to take advantage of me. We both decided that we would take turns for paying for dinner/lunch and that she would pay for her gas money when she came to visit.

The last time I came home to Milwaukee and I stayed over for two nights, she paid for both dinners, both nights and I paid for lunch. There was no issue and it was really nice. Conflict Resolution when used effectively can create positive results when going through the process.

Abigail, R. & Chan, D. (2011). Managing conflict through communication. 4/e, Boston: Allyn &
Pakita, S. (2011). How to manage conflict. [Web]. Retrieved from:

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Less Than 7 Days...

I cannot wait to get to Cabo, the days are getting closer. I am curious if any of my classmates have been to Cabo, and if there are any sorts of activities or venues that we should check out? Thanks for your thoughts!


Amanda Analla

Shift Change!

It is 10:50PM and I just got home from work and started to think about the end of our Communications Capstone Class. As I look at my educational journey at Ashford University thus far, this is my last for the Communication classes. This also means that once this class is completed, shift change also occurs at work. I will be moving from second shift to third shift. This got me thinking about the changes that will be occurring and the different elements that take place. I will have a new Sergeant and the "Brass"will be different. This post is about "best practices" approach towards "superior-subordinate organizations. The shift change occurs every year, and depending on how the leadership and coworkers are, can either make or break the year for Officers. Here are some of my thoughts on this important matter.

There are many different approaches to superior-subordinate influence in organizations. “Social influence is an ever-present aspect of organizational life. From formal board meetings to informal employee interactions, individuals seek to control the opinions and activities of others in the pursuit of personal and organizational goals” (Seiter & Gass, 2004, p. 337) It is apparent that persuasion and influence are present in our everyday lives and at work. I work for the City of Madison Police Department and there are obvious superior-subordinate influences in my organization.

I am currently still “new” to this field and have been employed for almost four years now. In regards to working with superiors and my coworkers there have been several tactics and practices used throughout the years that have been effective and ineffective in influence and persuasion. I have found that there are many different factors and considerations that come into play when superior-subordinates interact with one another and influence each other. Looking at our department it is set up as a hierarchy and we have upward, downward, and lateral flow of communication.

The “best practices” approaches that help to be effective in my experience has been using strategies such as, Reasoning, Assertiveness, Altruism, and Sanctions. These strategies work because they help to keep us on track and focused. I deal with Sergeants, Lieutenants, Captains, and my colleagues of Detectives and Police Officers. I have had Sergeants who manage a platoon and have done so differently than others. I have found that I like Sergeants who are assertive in their requests. Sergeants have to take charge in certain tactical situations and if I am in a location that is jeopardizing my safety or others he/she will tell me to move. They may yell at me, but at the end of the situation we will debrief the incident. At this point the Sergeant will go over what I did right/wrong and will use “collaborative tactics.” This is helpful because he/she is talking to me one on one in a way that is not demeaning and I can feel comfortable offering my feedback. When doing this job I have been in contact with many superiors and I have found that if I have a positive relationship and get along with the person, it makes the job easier. Being able to explain reasons, and be assertive just makes me understand why I should do some of the things that are requested of me.

I think that sanctions are important as well because are job does have a lot of power. In the past there have been officers who have abused power and need to be kept in check. Although this is rare, I think it is important to make sure everyone is aware of the possible punishments. I also think that it is important for individuals to be recognized for accomplishments because it creates positive energy. Overall I think building good relationships with coworkers and superiors, having sanctions, being assertive, and using collaborative tactics are effective ways to help be influential.

Seiter, J., & Gass R. (2004). Perspectives on persuasion, social Influence, and compliance gaining.

            Boston, Massachusetts: Pearson Education, Inc.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Reducing Drug Trafficking in The United States

Hello classmates,
I hope you are doing well. It is nearing the end of our capstone class and I have enjoyed it immensely. As I continue to work on this blog and put the final touches on it, I have realized how much I have used my field of employment to tie into my Communication Classes. It is apparent and obvious that communication plays a vital role in law enforcement, but even more so I have been able to apply what I am learning to the particular field and learn about different topics. This next paper that I will be posting is from my ENG122 class. It is a research/position paper on Reducing Drug Trafficking in the United States. Besides high school, I found this paper to be quite challenging and a paper in which I had to devote a lot of time researching for information. I learned to sort out the fluff and write about what was relevant and important to making my point. The most important lesson I learned from writing this paper is that it is important to have facts and accurate information to take a stand on an issue.

Reducing Drug Trafficking in the United States
In the United States, drug trafficking is a major problem. The U.S. Department of Justice (2010), states “the availability of illicit drugs in the United States is increasing” (p. 1). The United States receives many drugs all over the country. Many countries are able to import their drugs to the United States. One country in particular, that has a significant amount of drug trafficking is Mexico near the Southwest Border. Mexico borders the United States and has easy access to pushing drugs through. According to The National Drug Threat Assessment (2010), Mexico has seen an increase in production specifically with two drugs, Marijuana and Methamphetamine. (p.1). The United States is continuously working on ways to reduce the flow of drug trafficking. The United States has created policies and restrictions that have been put into place to help reduce the problem. Working with Mexico and other U.S. agencies as well as continued and increased enforcement will help decrease the trafficking of drugs.
Marijuana and Methamphetamine
             According to Drugs of Abuse (1997),“The term marijuana, as commonly used, refers to the leaves and flowering tops of the cannabis plant” (p. 37). Marijuana is a “green-leafy” plant that has a distinct smell. “Marijuana is usually smoked in the form of loosely rolled cigarettes called joints or hollowed out commercial cigars called blunts” (U.S. Department of Justice, 1997, pg. 37). Marijuana has many different names that are common throughout the United States. Some names are: Mary Jane, pot, and weed. Marijuana can be found throughout the United States and is a popular drug among many. Some effects of marijuana include, “increased heart rate, dryness of mouth, reddening of the eyes, impaired motor skills and concentration, and frequently hunger and an increase desire for sweets” (U.S. Department of Justice, 1997, pg. 38).
            Methamphetamine is a highly abusive drug and according to NIDA (2010),  
Methamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant drug. Methamphetamine is also known as “Meth.” Methamphetamine …is a white odorless, bitter-tasting powder taken orally or by snorting or injecting, or a rock ‘crystal’ that is heated and smoked. Methamphetamine affects the brain and creates “euphoria” to the user. Since methamphetamine affects the brain, there are several serious problems that can affect the brain. (p. 1-2)
 According to the NIDA (2010), the long-term use can actually change the way the brain functions (p. 2). This drug has many other ways it can affect the user. Some of these negative effects are, “extreme weight loss, severe dental problems (“meth mouth”), anxiety, confusion, insomnia, mood disturbances, and violent behavior” (NIDA, 2010, p. 2).
            It is apparent that these two drugs can be highly addictive and it is important that the United States continues to reduce the flow of trafficking with Mexico. There are many negative side effects that will affect the user with continued use. These drugs can be abused easily, and with easy access to these drugs it is only going to keep affecting the population of the United States.
The Smuggling and Trafficking of Drugs A long The Southwest Border
            Drug trafficking is a complex problem that is very advanced when it comes to smuggling drugs from the border through to the United States. The roadways, the sky, and underground passages, are all used to transport drugs from one side to the other. According to the National Drug Threat Assessment (2010),  “These means include the construction and use of cross-border tunnels and subterranean passageways, and some increased use of low-flying small or ultralight aircraft, which most often are used to smuggle marijuana” (p. 14). The smugglers use the roadways and officers near the border and in any state can produce a traffic stop. From a law enforcement officer’s experience, I have conducted several stops in which the basic red light violation can turn into a drug investigation. Officers along the border and in any state have used basic traffic violations to further investigate drugs. 
With that being said the Drug Enforcement Administration (2010),
…has created two operations that focus on the traffic that is around the areas of the borders and in states where drug trafficking is a problem. The operations are:  Operation Pipeline and Operation Convoy. Operation Pipeline focuses on the roadways, highways and smugglers that are operating in private motor vehicles. The operation is composed of three elements: training, real-time communication, and analytic support. Operation Convoy focuses on the use of commercial vehicles and involves undercover officers and wiretaps. (para. 2-3)
United States Strategies on Methamphetamine
The methamphetamine issue has been a problem for more than a decade. In 1996 the United States created some strategies and specific penalties to enforce on the methamphetamine issue. “Analysis of available data indicates that methamphetamine availability in the United States is directly related to methamphetamine production trends in Mexico, which is the primary source of methamphetamine consumed in the United States” (US Department of Justice, 2010). The two strategies that were put into place are the 1996 National Methamphetamine Strategy and the Methamphetamine Trafficking Penalty Enhancement Act. (Executive Office, 1999) The 1996 Act “increases the penalties for production and trafficking while expanding control over precursor chemicals” (Executive Office, 1999). The Enhancement Act focuses on targeting businesses or companies that supply or sell the “precursor chemicals” to methamphetamine producers. (Executive Office, 1999) Since these have been put into place in the beginning there was a decrease in the production of methamphetamine. (U.S. Department of Justice, 2010) Presently and in the last couple of years methamphetamine has increased production specifically in Mexico. (U.S. Department of Justice, 2010) Drug traffickers have been able to find ways to import the “precursor chemicals” and find other alternatives to use in producing methamphetamine (U.S. Department of Justice, 2010).
Marijuana and Eradication
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has been focusing on marijuana growth in the United States. A program was implemented called the Domestic Marijuana Eradication and Investigation Project, this program specifically targets, “Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTO) involved in cannabis cultivation” (Drug Enforcement Administration, para. 1). The success of this program is due to sharing of information within the different agencies (Drug Enforcement Administration). In Mexico the production of marijuana has increased, due to the fact that law enforcement has had to focus their resources on the ongoing violence that has been occurring on the Southwest Border. (U.S. Department of Justice, 2010) 
Mexico and the United States have strived to put programs into place to decrease the reduction of drug trafficking. Some of these programs have been put into place more than a decade ago. It is important to look at some of the trends and see which programs are being upgraded and changed. With the amount of drug trafficking that can occur the United States and Mexico are constantly looking for ways to improve their tactics. Many of the drug trafficking organizations in Mexico have found ways to get drugs through to the United States.
The National Southwest Border Counternarcotic Strategy
In June of 2009, President Obama announced a new strategy, The National Southwest Border Counternarcotic Strategy.  Secretary Napolitano (Homeland Security, 2009), stated:
The plan calls for tougher inspections, more enforcement personnel and close coordination with our partners in Mexico as we work across Federal, State and local governments to achieve safety and security in our communities. Together, we will continue to reduce the flow of illegal drugs across the Southwest border and ensure that those who ignore our laws are prosecuted. (para. 4)
            It is important that Mexico and the United States continue to work together. With this National Strategy implemented, both governments hope that drug trafficking and the violence will continue to decrease. This plan focuses on the ability to share intelligence between the two countries and work with many types of law enforcement agencies that are stationed throughout the Southwest border. (Homeland Security, 2009)
Southwest Border Initiative
            The Southwest Border Initiative (SWBI) has been put into place since 1994 and continues to have a positive impact on the fight against drugs. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration,
The SWBI attacks organizations by targeting the communication systems of their command and control centers. Working in concert, the DEA, the FBI, U.S. Customs Service, and U.S. Attorneys offices around the country conduct wiretaps that ultimately identify all levels of the Mexico- or Colombia-based organizations. This strategy allows the DEA to track the seamless continuum of drug traffic as it gradually flows from Colombia or Mexico to the streets of the United States where it is distributed. (para. 2)
            It is important to look at this initiative and to see how many agencies are actually involved. As is apparent there are numerous amounts of resources that are being used to work on the drug trafficking problem. It is important that the information continues to be shared and good communication is vital.
 The governments continue to work with agencies to be successful in their tactics. The SWBI has been successful. Three operations known as, Operation Zorro II, Operation Reciprocity, and Operation Limelight have been very successful. Statistics showed that because of these operations, “…resulted in the arrest of 156 individuals and the seizure of over 22,000 kilos of illegal drugs and $35 million” (Drug Enforcement Administration, para. 4).
Drug Trafficking Organizations and Criminal Gangs
            Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs) are located all over the United States and foreign countries. These organizations focus on moving drugs through different areas. The National Threat Assessment (2010), indicates that “…Mexican DTOs constitute the greatest drug trafficking threat to the United States. Mexican DTOs are more deeply entrenched in drug trafficking activities in the United States than any other DTOs” (p. 9). This means that these Mexican organizations have areas in the United States that they work with that help produce, import, and export drugs to different areas (U.S. Department of Justice, 2010). This can create an easier flow of drug trafficking as well as easy access to obtain more drugs into the United States.
            Criminal Gangs are also a major source of where drugs can come from. It is apparent that gangs are located all over the United States as well as in Mexico. Several of these gangs work with the DTOs to obtain drugs and sell at a competitive price. (U.S. Department of Justice, 2010) According to the National Drug Threat Assessment (2010), “there are nearly 1 million active gang members in the United States…”  (p. 12). It is important that the United States and Mexico continue to look at the influences of gangs. It is clear that there is a significant amount of gangs that are involved in the drug trade. “The influence of Hispanic and African American street gangs is expanding as these gangs gain greater control over drug distribution in rural and suburban areas and acquire drugs directly from DTOs in Mexico or along the Southwest Border” (U.S. Department of Justice, 2010, p. 9).
            There are many different organizations and gangs that are involved in the drug trade that is a continuous problem. Law enforcement as well as the Southwest Border must continue to focus on these areas. A lot of these organizations and gangs are dangerous and can bring about violence. A lot of these organizations also are in possession of guns. It is apparent that whenever drugs are involved as seen in movies, the news, and personal experience as a law enforcement officer, guns can and most likely will be involved. This can create a dangerous situation for any official that is in contact with these types of criminals. Drugs are a serious problem and must be taken seriously.
Drug trafficking is a source of corruption and it endangers and affects the quality of life of many in the general population. It is important for the United States and Mexico to work together in order to try to reduce the problem. Drug trafficking brings about violence, increase in weapons, and drug abuse in the United States. It is an everyday occurrence and it is important the United States continues to find ways to reduce drug trafficking.


Drug Enforcement Administration. (n.d.). Domestic cannabis eradication/suppression program.

     Retrieved February 21, 2011, from

Executive Office, Office of National Drug Policy. (1999). 1999 national drug control strategy

Homeland Security. (2009). Obama administration announces national strategy to reduce drug

     trafficking and flow of bulk cash and weapons across southwest border Retrieved from

NIDA infofacts: Methamphetamine. (2010, March). Retrieved February 21, 2010, from National 

     Institute of Drug Abuse website:

U.S. Department of Justice. (1997). Drugs of abuse. Washington, DC.

U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Agency. (2010). National drug threat assessment

     (Product No. 2010-Q0317-001). Jonestown, PA: Retrieved from  


Thursday, January 26, 2012

AIDA Approach For an Effective Memo or Cover Letter

In order to write an effective memo or cover letter there are many things that need to be taken into consideration. When writing a memo or a cover letter, an individual is trying to gain the audience’s attention and to get a purpose across to that targeted audience.  According to our text, Improving Business Communication Skills, “…you only have a few seconds to grab your reader. To write persuasively, follow AIDA approach: attention, interest, desire, and action” (Roebuck, 2006). When using the AIDA approach there is many things that are taken into consideration for the writer to begin to draft an effective memo or cover letter. As mentioned earlier the writer only has a few seconds to capture the audience. The benefits of using AIDA, causes the writer to remain focused and has a guideline to follow. By taking the audience into consideration and focusing on gaining the attention, the writer can further expand by creating an interest and desire. This in turn will cause the audience to take a specific action. AIDA will be effective in a memo and cover letter because it will be written in a persuasive manner. If the writer is able to keep the audience “hooked” and is able to effectively get the purpose across, the audience will move towards that specific action that is requested.

When taking these into consideration, when writing a cover letter for a resume, I would have to sell myself, but also gain the attention of business. I would focus on how hiring me would be a benefit to the business and expand on the skills and qualifications that are necessary to for the job that I possess. I would use persuasiveness and make the business interested in continuing to read my resume. If my cover letter is ineffective, most likely they will not want to read any further. Therefore I would have to gain their attention.

When writing a memo or cover letter, the audience wants to know what is in it for them and how hiring an individual or reading a memo is beneficial to them. I think in this aspect using AIDA to develop the memo or letter will help the writer focus not only what his/her needs are, but also on what the audience wants. Hitting on the audience’s desires can persuade the individual to take action. By using the “emotional appeal” or “logical appeal” the product being sold or idea being considered can reach the audience on a personal and clear level. By following the AIDA plan the letter or memo will be read and again taken into consideration. These are the many benefits of using AIDA to write an effective memo or letter.


Roebuck, D.B. (2006). Improving business communications skills (4th Ed.). Upper Saddle

            River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Oak -Alfred Lord Tennyson

As I look outside my window I see the sun is shining and the snow sparkling on the ground. I look at the trees that have no leaves and dream of when summer is here. The cold temperatures make me want to hibernate, but this is winter in Wisconsin. I count down the days as Erica and I will be heading to Cabo, Mexico for our honeymoon! (Less than two weeks) Anyways, since I have been thinking about nature, I thought I would share my literary analysis from my Journey Into Literature Class. Of course this is paper was written about a poem that nonetheless was about an Oak Tree. (Go Figure!)


Live thy Life,
Young and old,
Like yon oak,
Bright in spring,
Living gold;

Then; and then
Gold again.

All his leaves
Fall'n at length,
Look, he stands,
Trunk and bough
Naked strength.

Poetry in its literary form is beautiful and magnificent.  The way poets are able to incorporate every word and put it in a specific place to add meaning, is amazing. Poems can be written about feelings, emotions, and nature, and just about anything else a poet wants to write. I have always enjoyed poetry and in particular, enjoyed reading poems about nature.  I love nature, and I think a lot can be expressed through writing poetry about it.  Because I love trees so much, (I even have a tattoo of a tree on my ankle) I was more than happy to see a poem called “The Oak” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, in our text Journey into Literature.  This is a great poem and there are many elements that are found throughout the text that have helped me focus on the poem.  Alfred, Lord Tennyson uses figurative language, symbolism, and rhyme to express his view of the Oak tree. With these elements I am able to enjoy the poem and see the comparison of a tree being tied into the development of a human.

I read this poem numerous times, and I found it to be beautiful. The author incorporates figurative language by using a simile to compare the “human development to the oak tree’s seasonal cycle.” (Clugston, 2010). With that said, when reading the poem, I feel Tennyson is relating it to a man that is aging through life.  The oak tree is personified as Tennyson uses “he” to describe the changes that are occurring to the tree. “All his leaves, Fall’n at length, look, he stands trunk and bough…” (as cited from Clugston, 2010). These lines demonstrate the use of “he” and when reading the poem, I felt the tree had possessed human qualities. When looking at the poem it was easier to see that the tree was going through changes, just as a human goes through changes as they age. The author “attributes” the oak, through the seasonal changes that are occurring. (Clugston, 2010) From using spring, to summer, and then to autumn we see the changes occurring. The oak tree in spring is young and bright and as the seasons continue the leaves begin to change color, and eventually fall off.  The oak tree stands with “Naked strength” (as cited from Clugston, 2010).  It is apparent that through the figurative language and using a simile to compare the aging process of the tree to a human, Tennyson has been successful. It is important for the reader to pick up on this aspect as a tree with its natural beauty can be used to describe the human process. We as humans age and with those changes, we can still possess the beauty that makes us who are in our “naked strength.”

Symbols and symbolism are important when reading poetry. Poets use symbols to add to the message or theme. According to our text, and in previous readings, I noticed that a lot of symbols were used. The oak tree itself is a symbol of strength and wisdom, and I feel that this is fitting for the poem. As when people age with time and experience, wisdom is developed. All the seasonal changes also have specific meanings, as spring is a symbol of “birth and new beginnings.” (Clugston, 2010) Summer is a symbol for “maturity”, and autumn is a symbol for “aging.” (Clugston, 2010) With the use of these seasons we can see how the tree ages, almost like how human beings process. When we are first born, there are new beginnings , and as we age we begin to mature. Trees change color of leaves and they fall from the branches. As humans are hair can change color and as we get older, sometimes are hair falls out. As quoted from the poem, “Live thy life, young and old, like yon oak, bright in spring, living gold” (as cited from Clugston, 2010). This is a beautiful line, that tells us to live our lives, whether we are old or young, and like the oak that stands tall and gold. Gold is also the color of perfection and when reading the poem I did notice that Tennyson did not use “winter” in his poem. I found this to be quite interesting, but as the tree stands, “naked in strength”, I can tell that it is winter. I do not really know why Tennyson did not use winter, but found that winter means “death, stagnation, and sleep” (Clugston, 2010). I think Tennyson may be focusing on the positive aspects of the developments of the tree and humans. Again adding the seasonal changes and with the use of symbolisms, helped me to understand the meaning of the poem. Tennyson was able to incorporate the seasonal changes, and I was able to draw out the human aspect from the tree. As time moves on and seasons change so does the aging process. I think Tennyson did an excellent job.

            The form of the poem and the way it was laid out, made it easy to read. For figurative language was apparent with the use of a simile. When reading the poem out loud I found that each line appeared to have 3 beats to each line. I found this to be interesting and enjoyed the flow of the poem. Tennyson also incorporates rhyme into the poem. “Young and old, like yon oak, bright in spring, living gold” (as cited from Clugston, 2010). Old and gold have the similar endings, and had the rhyme to the poem. This poem was easy for me to read, and when I read it to myself, I pictured an old man reading the poem. I think Tennyson did a wonderful job and when I saw the words on the page I noticed a sort of zigzag pattern. I am not sure if it was done on purpose, but to me it appeared that the poem was the trunk of the tree. Again Tennyson was able to create a beautiful masterpiece in his telling of “The Oak.” With the use of figurative language, the rhythm and rhyme he was able to create a poem that was easy for me to read and enjoy.

            “The Oak” written by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, is by far one my favorite poems. The poet does a wonderful job incorporating the human development to the growth of an oak tree. By using figurative language, symbolism, and rhyming, the poet was able to create a deeper meaning then just a poem about an oak tree. These specific elements were effective in creating the meaning of the poem, and making it enjoyable to read. As stated earlier poetry is an expression of anything felt by the poet. Specific words, formats, and scenery can all create a message to a particular reader. Nature is a wonderful way to incorporate many themes. The tree was a beautiful way to describe the human development and with all its beauty, we can find that life whether it is a tree or human is worth living.

Clugston, R. W. (2010). Journey into literature. San Diego, California: Bridgepoint Education,

     Inc. Retrieved from:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Electronic Control Device

Hello fellow classmates! We are almost to the end of our Capstone Class! Yay. In our most recent discussion post I shared a story from my Law Enforcement "locker" in which an uncooperative suspect had to be "tased." As this blog is to highlight some of the writing we have submitted throughout the course, I thought I would share a piece on the Electronic Control Device (TASER) I wrote this piece for my Technical Communication Class. I must also make you aware that when going through the police academy, officers have to be pepper sprayed and tasered to get the "whole" experience. I have been tased twice now, and I can tell you it is not a pleasant experience. One thing is for sure that this tool is a very effective opiton for Law Enforcement officers to use.

Electronic Control Device (Taser)
The electronic control device (ECD) also known as a TASER ECD is a weapon that is widely used and recognized in the field of law enforcement. The ECD is considered a “non-deadly” use-of-force and is a tool that law enforcement officers can use to control a subject who is violent or is about to become violent. The Taser is a safe way to maintain control of a subject without causing serious injury.
The electronic control device is effective and helps to reduce injuries caused by the suspect and officer. With the use of the ECD, patrol officers have another option on their duty belt to prevent from going hands on and increasing the chance of injury.
This description is explained to new officers and individuals who are not familiar with the electronic control device.
The electronic control device is a little smaller than a handgun and is made up of two parts. The first part is the Taser cartridge which is the “ammo” for the ECD. The other part is the mechanism in which the cartridge is attached. The cartridge snaps into the front of the ECD.
The Taser has a safety switch on the side of mechanism. When the safe is on there is a green letter that says “S.” When the ECD is ready for use the safe must be turned off (by flipping the switch) and once the safe is off, there will be a red laser light that will turn on. The laser can then be pointed at the subject that needs to be controlled. Once the laser is on the suspect, the officer then pulls the trigger and two probes shoot out of the cartridge and attach to the suspect either by hooking onto the clothing or skin. The ECD sends an electric current through two copper wires that have a prong on each end. This causes a shock to the suspect and depending on where the probes land, it causes the subject to be “immobilized.” According to the makers of TASER,
The probes deployed from a TASER ECD carry fine wires that connect to the target and deliver the TASER into his neural network. These pulses delivered by the TASER ECD overwhelm the normal nerve traffic, causing involuntary muscle contractions and impairment of motor skills. (TASER, 2011)
“The TASER ECD pulses mimic the electrical signals used within the human body to communicate between the brain and the muscles. The TASER ECD simulates the pulsed communications used within the nerves, and interferes with communication – like static on the telephone lines within the body” (TASER, 2011).
The Taser ECD uses a cycle for each trigger pull that is approximately set for “five seconds.” The Taser ECD can be used for numerous cycles if the subject is not cooperating. Once the subject is controlled, it is important to remove the probes safely from the subject.
The TASER ECD is an effective tool to use to help prevent serious injuries to the officer and subject involved. The officer comes in contact with a resisting subject, and uses the TASER to control the subject. The officer turns the safe off, points the laser on the subject and avoids pointing it at the subject’s head. Once the trigger is pulled, two probes shoot out of the cartridge and attach to the subject, while the electrical current travels through the wires and causes “immobilization.”
TASER, (2011). How a TASER ECD works. Retrieved on August 22, 2011 from

Monday, January 16, 2012

Of Monsters and Men - Little Talks (Live on KEXP)

Love this song, wanted to share this gem with my fellow classmates. Enjoy! (Expanding my horizons within the blogger world. Adding video)

Delivering Bad News Tactfully and Effectively


“You are a department manager in a mid-sized company that provides technology support services. You have ten employees who are required to maintain a high level of technical expertise and deliver excellent customer service. One of your employees, who has been with the company for two years, is performing at a substandard level and you have received numerous complaints from customers and coworkers. In addition, this employee has displayed confrontational behavior which has created a hostile environment. You must now meet with this employee and deliver an ultimatum regarding the need for immediate improvement or dismissal.”

            As a department manager of a mid-sized company, this position holds a lot of responsibility.  With that being said, having to deliver bad news is something that is not an enjoyable experience. It comes with the territory and is something that all managers will come across at one time or another within their term of employment.  In this current scenario an employee needs to be informed of his job performance as well as his confrontational behavior. Things need to be changed or there will be a need for immediate dismissal. There are many different approaches that can be taken into consideration when dealing with this specific problem. In a situation like this it is important to recognize that the employee may react with an emotional response. Because of this it is important to tread lightly, but it is also important to get straight to the point. Creating ambiguous statements and drawing out the process will cause more problems, and it is important that the employee is able to understand the intended message. It is important not to procrastinate in delivering the news, this will only “exasperate” their reaction. (Donnelly, 2011)

            In a situation like this it is important to look at the incident as a whole and figure out how the employee will react. In a circumstance like this, I can only imagine that because of the confrontational behavior the employee will more than likely react in a hostile or defensive manner. Once I have taken this into consideration, this will help me in the way I approach the problem. “Brevity is often a big problem for managers who are delivering bad news to employees” (Donnelly, 2011). Because this is a serious incident and the job performance of the employee is below substandard it is important to be brief, direct, and to the point. I would have to explain to the employee what has been going on and bring in specific examples, so that the employee can understand why there is a need to have this meeting. It is important not to belittle the subject, but to make him aware of the problem. I would offer room for improvement and extra training opportunities. I would then ask the employee what his thoughts were on the situation. Listen to see if the employee has responded to the feedback, and also find out where the employee sees himself in regard to whether he takes responsibility. It is important to let him know the ultimatum of “immediate dismissal” so that the employee is aware of what can happen if there is no improvement.  It is important not to blame the employee, but to get the issues out in the open and to work on resolving them. (Kleiman, 2005) In the end it is important to deliver the intended message, and it is important to save face with the employee. Make him understand that he has the ability to change and that the ultimate outcome depends on how he handles the situation. Again being supportive and offering training opportunities can encourage the employee and show the support needed.

            As in the mentioned scenario, it is apparent that delivering bad news is not the easiest thing a manager has to do. It is a reality and is something that a manager does have to deal with. It is important to take into consideration on how the employee may respond to the news. Being able to look at it from that point of view, will help the manager determine what the best approach will be. The main point is to be direct, concise, and show a little bit of empathy. It is important to deliver the message in the intended manner, and listen to the feedback of the employee. The manager has to make sure that the employee understands the message, delivering it in an ambiguous manner or drawing out the conversation may add confusion or make a painful experience. In many ways the employee should be aware the problem, if he is already confrontational with other employees. Offering specific examples of the behavior is a good way to explain why the meeting needs to take place. Focusing on how the behavior can change and offering training opportunities will hopefully make the employee focus on how to change instead of lingering on the situation itself.


Donnelly, T. (2011). How to deliver band news to employees. INC., Retrieved from


Kleiman, C. (2005, May 26). Addressing tough issues usually takes delicate touch. :[Chicago

            Final Edition]. Chicago Tribune, p.3.2. Retrieved January 16, 2012, from Chicago

            Tribune. (Document ID: 844784471).

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Only In Wisconsin

Yesterday 01/11/12 the weather in WI was 53 degrees and sunny. Today temperatures are in the low 20's and we are expecting 4-7 inches of snow. Only in WI can this weather happen! Off to work I go later, I wonder how many accidents I will respond too. Be safe.


Amanda Analla

Monday, January 9, 2012

Behind The Uniform I Wear

This post is from ENG 325 - Intermediate Composition. I am not an overly religious person, but I do believe in fate, and I do believe everything happens for a reason. This is the story about why I chose to become a police officer. This job can be challenging, rewarding, and at times stressful. For all the bad stuff I have seen, nothing compares to the justice that I serve and the victims I have helped.

It was July 23rd, 1996, the summer before heading into fifth grade. The sun was shining and Krissy and I had just finished riding our bikes around Scout Lake. As we stopped on the dock, we rested our bikes on the railing. We picked up some stones and skipped them across the water. It was always a contest to see who could get the most skips, and of course she always won. Krissy’s brown eyes sparkled as we began to plan the rest of summer vacation. Life was good!  There was nothing to worry about, no homework and the rest of the summer to run around and play. I said, “One more skip and let’s race home!” Krissy turned to laugh as her eyes squinted, and the freckles on her face danced in the sunlight. “I win again!” Krissy stated as I watched the rock skip four times. I then turned to her and said, “Yeah, you may have beaten me, but you know I’ll win on the bike.” I then ran towards my bike, picked it up and pedaled as fast as I my legs would let me.  I could hear Krissy’s laughter behind me as we rode to her apartment a few blocks away. I jumped off the bike and raised my hand in the air as if I had just won the Olympics. Krissy followed shortly after as we fell with laughter to the ground. We both lied on the grass and looked up to the blue sky. I then turned to her and said, “I’m hungry!” Krissy then said that her mom would be coming home from work and they were planning on grilling out.

I walked into the apartment and observed a male in the house. Krissy walked passed me and said, “That is Kevin, my mom’s new boyfriend, he just moved in.” Krissy then rolled her eyes and walked into the room. I looked at him, and could not help but notice a teardrop tattoo on his left eye, and some black tattoos on his arm. They were ugly and it looked like they were not done in great taste.  It looked like someone had taken a black marker and scribbled on his arm. He had brown hair and the darkest brown eyes I had ever seen. He seemed creepy to me and I was naïve to the fact of what those tattoos had meant. I then continued to follow Krissy into her room wondering what she thought of him. He was in the kitchen preparing the food that was to be consumed. We went into her room and she closed the door. Krissy then turned on some music, and played TLC, “Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls.” We both lied on the bed and closed are eyes, as Krissy sang along to the words. There was a knock on the door and her mother said the food was ready. We ran down the stairs out the back door and sat at the picnic table. Outside the neighborhood kids were yelling and screaming. Krissy and I sat next to each other as Kevin and her mom served us. I quietly said, “Thank you.” We ate in silence as I watched Kevin take a drag off his cigarette and take a sip out of his Miller Lite can.

After we finished eating, I told Krissy I had to go home. Krissy smiled and then said, “You should spend the night. We can pull an all-nighter!” I then called my mom and asked if I could stay overnight. My mom said she did not feel comfortable with me staying over there since she did not know Krissy parents that well. I begged and pleaded and eventually she caved in. I turned to Krissy and high-fived her. We spent the rest of the night watching TV, talking about school, and eating ice cream. We eventually fell asleep and woke up the next morning.

The next morning, July 24th, 1996, when I awoke Krissy’s mom had already left for work. I peeked into her mom’s room and I could hear Kevin snoring. I told Krissy that I needed to go home because I had basketball camp. Krissy walked into the room and woke Kevin up. Kevin staggered out of bed and I observed that his shirt was off. I remember thinking in disgust that this was one hairy man. Kevin put on a white t-shirt and then drove me home. I stepped out of the maroon vehicle, waved goodbye to Krissy and said I would call her later. Krissy smiled back with her brown eyes sparkling and said, “I had a great time, talk to you later!”  I then proceeded to skip into my house and got ready for basketball camp.

After basketball my family came to pick me up and we went out to Culvers for dinner. I came home around 7:00P.M. and I noticed the red light on the answering machine flickering on and off. I always loved to push the button to hear the messages that were waiting for us. I pressed the button and a familiar voice was heard. It was my other best friend’s Mom on the answering machine. A rushed tone was heard as she said, “You need to call me something has happened to Krissy.” I remember my mind was racing and thinking to myself, she won the lottery!

My mom called and as I was standing next to her. I heard my mom say, “Oh No.” My mom then went into her room and closed the door. I heard hushed whispering as I could not hear what was said. My mom walked out, her face was white and pale. She gently said to me, “Krissy is dead, she was killed by Kevin.”  At this point my head was spinning, this was not real, and “I just saw her this morning. Kevin just dropped me off at my house.” These thoughts were running through my head. Streams of tears fell down on my face as I ran to my mom and took her embrace. My mom turned on the news and all I could see was the brown apartment, yellow tape all over, squad cars with lights flashing, and all I could think about were Krissy’s sparkling eyes. Breaking news came on as the police had arrested the suspect, Kevin. The news indicated that Kevin had sexually assaulted Krissy and strangled her. Krissy was found in the closet by her younger sister Kelly. I flipped the T.V. off and my mom drove me over to Anna’s house where we sat on the curb outside. We talked of Krissy and what had happened. I looked up to the sky and saw a flash of light and knew that it was her. She was looking down at me; I looked at the sky longer and smiled. I know she was going to be with me forever.

The red and blue flashing lights, the distant sounds of sirens in the background. Today and every day I put on my blue uniform. My job is to serve and protect my community and the people that live in it. I am here to serve justice where justice is needed. From the moment, I saw that flashing light on that warm July 24th night; I knew what I was going to do with the rest of my life. That night lives with me every day. For the police were able to catch Kevin and put him away forever. I am in this job because I want to be able to connect with victims of crimes and put people away like Kevin. It is now apparent to me what those tattoos meant as it is a cultural ritual for people who have been in jail. As I put my badge on and walked out the door, I looked to the sky and saw those sparkling brown eyes.

Human Rights

This next post is from my Communication and Conflict Class final paper (COM325) . I thought I would share a brief excerpt from the topic of Legalization of Same Sex Marriage otherwise known as Human Rights. It starts out with a quote that I think says it all.

This paper was written before I got married, unfortunately in the state of Wisconsin it is not recognized. Erica and I got "married" November 5th, 2011 in front of family and friends. It was the best day of my life and it felt so great to be surrounded by family and friends who supported us. We will be heading to Cabo in February for our honeymoon!

“It’s very dear to me, the issue of gay marriage. Or as I like to call it: ‘marriage.’ You know, because I had lunch this afternoon, not gay lunch. I parked my car; I didn’t gay park it.” – Liz Feldman

This is one of my favorite quotes stated by Liz Feldman, who is a comedian. It brings up a good point on how society looks at same-sex marriage. I believe that marriage should be able to apply to everyone in regards to the fact that same-sex marriage and marriage should not be labeled separately. We are all humans and share feelings, thoughts, and emotions. The only difference is my preference of who I want to marry. I think that I should be able to enjoy the same benefits that straight couples are able to enjoy. Just because we are in love and are a same-sex couple does not mean that we should be denied those rights. Marriage constitutes more than the legalized act of commitment, for it offers couples joint ownership, tax filing, insurance benefits, and medical decisions that are important. These do not just affect straight couples but they also affect “same-sex couples.” Denying these rights is a direct violation of our civil rights.

I also think that people have the right to decide if they want to get married, or if they do not want to get married. There are many straight couples who live together and do not want to get married. I think the elements of what constitutes a family and the way people’s lifestyles are evolving. The reason I say this is because people argue that same-sex marriage will ruin the institution of marriage, but look at how many other ways people are living their lives. They are not getting married, and living together. The domestic partnership law is not just being used by same-sex couples but also by straight couples who do not want to get married, but want to share some benefits. This is something that is important to look at because it is not just gay couples who live this type of lifestyle. There are straight couples who are living a lifestyle in which marriage may not be the route they want to go. I also think that if people are so worried about the institution of marriage, just look at the media and the rates of divorce. There are enough straight couples that are doing enough damage to their own marriage. How can same-sex marriage ruin the institution of marriage when there is already a significant problem? One perfect example is Kim Kardashian and Kris Humpheries, married for only 72 days! More examples are some of the celebrities and political figures within the news in which we are finding out about some of their misconduct. Just to name a few, Tiger Woods, Bill Clinton, and Arnold Scherzwiznager. These are all men that are in “straight” relationship, they are all married, and they cheated on their wives. Some of these celebrities may be facing a divorce, but how many of us have either been a victim or know people who have had their spouse/significant other cheat? I have a feeling there are quite a few people out there. With that being said, it is quite clear that in some aspects the institution of marriage can be ruined regardless of whether same sex-couples are married. I think that all human beings regardless of the sex they are interested in can be “a threat” to the institution of marriage if they are not faithful. It is clear that we are all humans and we should be treated with respect and dignity. It should not be “us against them” and we are marrying for the same reasons that everybody else is. In other words, allowing same-sex couples to legally marry will also be beneficial to the economy. “We” will be able contribute to society and enjoy the right to plan and celebrate with a wedding ceremony in which many people spend a lot of money on.

In 1982, Wisconsin became the first state in the nation to adopt anti-discrimination protections for our state’s gay and lesbian citizens. (Fair Wisconsin, 2011) This means that landlords, employers, owners and workers in a public place cannot discriminate against lesbians/gays/bisexuals on their sexual orientation. I think this alone should standout to the many people in my state. We already have an anti-discrimination protection that takes place when we are trying to find a job, a house, or go to a business. By not legalizing same-sex marriage we are in fact discriminating against the LGBT population. In 2006, Wisconsin passed a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality and civil unions. In 2009, Wisconsin “became the first state in the Midwest to protect same-sex couples via legislation and made us the first state with an existing constitutional amendment banning both marriage equality and civil unions to enact domestic partnerships” (Fair Wisconsin, 2011). Why even bother to make this a protection when we cannot even get married. I understand the basis of the protection, but I think these days it is not always as easy to tell who LGBT is. I think people tend to have the stereotypes of what a lesbian or gay person looks like. This is another way in which people need to know that it does not affect just “one type” of individual. There are sports athletes, artists, singers, and people who are just trying to make a living. Again this is our civil right and it affects many people.

As mentioned earlier, society is becoming more accepting and the legalization of same-sex marriage is slowly starting to pass. It is apparent that same-sex couples and LGBT people are being welcomed into the mainstream entertainment arena. Many television series are incorporating LGBT characters into their plots and it is another way for individuals to learn about the LGBT population. Shows like Modern Family, Glee, and Grey’s Anatomy all focus on many different plots that LGBT people go through. There is a focus on teenagers as well, and describe what the “coming out process” is like. I think that these shows focus on the reactions of the characters. In a recent Canada news article they look at the broadcast network of CW and talking about “coming out stories.” This article states,

Coming-out stories are standard, almost a cliché of television stories dealing with gay characters and this goes back to the '70s and the '80s," said Larry Gross of University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, who specializes in lesbians and gays in the media. "What's probably different now is that the age is becoming younger and I think this reflects the fact that the sort of battleground for gay people in society includes high school and probably even includes middle school. ... younger people are becoming more aware of their identities. (Friedlander, 2011)

Because it has entered the mainstream arena, it is apparent to me that it is becoming a “part of life.” People’s attitudes are changing in regards to the way they view gay people. It is apparent that we have come a long way from many years ago to now. Again we are looking at our civil rights, and that right is for me to be able to marry. Many people think there is a stigma and that people who are “homosexual” are “promiscuous.” I always find this view to be somewhat of a contradiction because people who are straight can exhibit the same promiscuous behavior.

There are currently six states that have recognized same-sex marriage including New York which has passed this past month.  “Same-sex couples can legally marry in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Washington, D.C.” (Associated Press, 2011) Many couples have been able to enjoy the freedom of marrying their significant other. Many have told me that I should move to the states that have legalized it, but I do feel that in the next ten years all of the states will be legalized. It also becomes an issue when other states are already legalizing marriage and if the other states are in agreement that it is a constitutional right than the right should be effective in all of the United States.  I also feel like I have started my life in Wisconsin and this is where I want to stay. I should not have to move to those states just so that my marriage can be legalized. Again I think that as more states continue to fight through on this issue, it is going to be legalized. In Wisconsin, we do have the domestic partnership, which is something that my wife and I have taken advantage of. This does not give us all the benefits that a marriage couple can enjoy, but it has been nice because my wife, Erica has been able to get on my insurance and is able to assist in some of my medical decisions.

Many people will argue that most religions find homosexuality a sin, and that people who are gay will “go to hell.” But what happened to the freedom of religion? Not everybody shares the same viewpoints and not ALL religions have issues with gay people. This is where the separation of government and church play a factor. The government can put this right into effect, but there are certain churches that do not have to perform the ceremony if it is against their religious beliefs. Many will use the bible and take direct quotes out of the bible to show that homosexuality is a “sin” and is “wrong.” I understand that people will pull that out and argue with it, but again there are people who do not believe in the bible or God. How can one religion claim that it is the right religion and all others are wrong? In that mindset this argument would not work for many, as people have the freedom of religion and can worship in any way that they please. Same-sex marriage is a civil right and it should be celebrated in any way that the couple so chooses to do. The church I belong to is United Church of Christ and I am Protestant.  Our church has opened there arms to everyone and everybody, my pastor is going to lead my ceremony in November. When I asked him, my pastor stated, “There would be no other place, then officiating your wedding.” Again this goes to show that not everyone has the same beliefs and although there are many people who have religious issues, my pastor and church do not have any issues. On a more personal note, I truly believe in God and the well-being and respect of others, and I attend my church when I am back in my hometown. I have never felt “unwelcomed” and everybody is “accepting.” I think this is how God wants me to treat people and that is how I live my life. Again this is my religious view on life, but others may not even believe in God, and others have different perspectives. Same-sex marriage is not something that everybody needs to agree with, but it is indeed a right that needs to be legalized. We are a minority group and to take our civil rights away is like taking the rights away for “women to vote.”  As we have been going through this process of planning a wedding, we have not had anyone show us any discontent or reject to offer their services to us. Now I am not an overly religious person, but I do believe in God, and I do think that God would not turn any one way from him. Again this is a controversial issue in which many will talk about the inability for same-sex couples to reproduce, and that is why marriage is between a man and woman. When taking that into consideration, I like think about the fact that there is adoption and other ways for same-sex couples to have children. What do you think a straight couple does when one cannot have the ability to have child? They go through the same process whether it be adoption or through medical science. There is also the argument that children who are raised by same-sex couples will have a “traumatic” experience or even make them “gay.” This is truly an argument that lacks validity. I know several same-sex couples that are raising children and they are quite successful and believe it or not, they turn out just fine.

            There is always going to be controversy between the legalization of same-sex marriage. I think that the directions that it is heading are only going to get better. I was reading a recent news article in The Brattleboro Reformer and I think this anonymous journalist puts it at best,

As the Founding Fathers wrote in the Declaration of Independence, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. “Of course, if you don't believe in the evolution of beliefs over time, then only white, male landowners qualify as "men" and the Founding Fathers surely didn't have gay marriage in mind when they put their signatures on that great declaration that still resonates today. But by that same reasoning, we would still have slaves, women wouldn't have the right to vote, and those of different races wouldn't be able to intermarry. (Equal rights indeed, 2011)

This issue is important because it affects my life and the ability for me to want to commit to my wife. I should be able to enjoy the same rights that every straight couple has I want to be able to marry my wife and have it count in the way that we can experience the same rights that everybody else does. There are many arguments to why same-sex marriage should be legalized. The acceptance of gay people has changed and is growing. There are a number of states that believe that same-sex marriage is a basic human right and there are six states that have currently legalized same-sex marriages. Over the years, I think we will see more states think about same-sex marriage and make it legal. In years later, I think many of us will wonder why same-sex marriage was ever an issue. Same-sex marriage is a civil right, and there needs to be equality.

So on November 5th, 2011, I will be walking down that aisle, I will be celebrating my love for my partner Erica, and I will be doing it in front of 200+ guests that are their because they love us and accept us for who we are as people. On this day I will smile and as I say my vows with my pastor to my bride, I will smile. For I know I will be happy for the rest of my life. At this point in my life, I truly believe that we will eventually overcome this obstacle and Erica and I will be able to have another ceremony in which our vows will be read, and will be legally married. Until then I will embrace life to the fullest and continue to stand by my wife as we fight for the civil rights and equality.


Associated Press. (2011). Ny lawmakers stuck on gay marriage vote. Retrieved from

Equal rights, indeed. (2011, July 15). The Brattleboro reformer. Retrieved July 18, 2011, from

     Proquest Newsstand. (Document ID: 2399572251).

Fair Wisconsin. (2011). Retrieved from

Friedlander, Whitney. (2011, January 5). Coming-out stories come of age on popular shows for

     teenagers. The Vancouver Sun, D. 4. Retrieved July 18, 2011, from Proquest Newsstand.

     (Document ID: 2233676021).